SFI highlights free online science resources this Easter
9th April 2020: If you are looking for something a little different to entertain the kids at home over the Easter break, Science Foundation Ireland has free, easy to follow online science and maths simple home experiments for children of all ages.
The online resources help parents and guardians to explore science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with their children at home in a practical, hands-on, enjoyable and interactive way.
The helpful instructions for each activity are easy to follow and do not require previous science experience. Activities cover a whole range of topics, from making rockets to racing magnets and can be selected from SFI’s new STEM at Home webpage.
Director of Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland, Ruth Freeman said: “Our aim is to support families across Ireland as we all adjust to being together full time at home, especially during this school holiday period. While our trips outside are curtailed, it might be nice to spend some of the Easter weekend having fun exploring science. Being curious, experimenting and making are all parts of being a scientist and engineer. Don’t be turned off if you haven’t thought about science since school. The Discover Primary Science and Maths online resources are easy to follow, with ingredients that will hopefully be readily available in your kitchen cupboards. It should make for great fun for all ages.”
To kickstart people’s fun with STEM, SFI have recommended two experiments to try over the Easter break: Design and Make a Lava Lamp and Investigate How Plants Drink.
Design and Make a Lava Lamp
- Plastic bottle
- Vegetable oil
- Food colouring
- Alka Seltzer tablet
- Fill the flask most of the way with vegetable oil.
- Fill the rest of the flask with water. The water will sink to the bottom under the oil.
- Add a few drops of food colouring; your choice of colour. The food colouring is water-based, so it will also sink and colour the water that is now at the bottom of the flask.
- Break an alka-seltzer tablet into a few small pieces, and drop them in the flask one at a time.
- Watch your lava lamp erupt into activity! As the reaction slows down, simply add more alka-seltzer.
Investigate How Plants Drink
- 1 white carnation
- 1 stick of celery with leaves
- Red food colouring
- 2 glasses or 2 plastic cups
- A marker
- Half fill each glass with water
- Add enough red food colouring to the two glasses of water to make two dark red glasses of water. You now have two glasses of red water.
- Cut the stem off each plant about 1cm from the end.
- Place the celery stick into one glass of water as in the diagram.
- Place the white carnation into the other glass of water as in the diagram.
- Mark the level of water in each glass with your marker. Leave the two glasses for a day or two on a shelf. Regularly check the glasses to a see what is happening. What do you think will happen?
The Discover Primary Science and Maths Programme (DPSM) is part of Science Foundation Ireland’s Education and Public Engagement Programme, which aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among students, teachers and members of the public. For additional online access to easy to follow science and maths activities, aimed primarily at 8 – 12 year olds, click here