Monday, October 1, 2007

Science Rocks, Part 1

We are studying some geology this year, and just finished learning about the different types of rocks.  There are three types of rocks - igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.  Igneous rock is formed when magma (or lava) cools and hardens.  The rock itself can be very different depending on whether it cooled quickly on the surface on the earth, or slowly under the crust; and of course depending on the minerals present.  To demonstrate how the same mineral can make different types of rock under different conditions, we made alum crystals.

We heated water and then dissolved the alum in it, and poured the solution into two plastic cups, with plastic knives inside.  One went in the refrigerator and the other stayed out on the counter.  (Biggest challenge: to find a spot on the counter where it wouldn't be buried under other stuff, but that's another topic!)  After a few days, we compared the crystals.

You can see how the alum solution in the fridge formed more and larger crystals.

Here's a closeup of the cold crystals:

And the "warm" crystals:

This was all from our Science text for this year:  God's Design for Heaven and Earth: Our Planet Earth

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Prncsstefy said...

You sure do a lot of cool stuffed. I haven't even ordered our science yet. ROFL

CrossView said...

Now that's cool! I love it when you can see such obvious results....

MayTheyBeMightyMen said...

I like these types of projects. I hate having such a limited time to work with in our home school group. It's much like trying to cram "the meaning of life" into an hour and a half. *Ugh!*

Now to find your other entry about geology...

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