Growing Crystals

This endeavour will grow patience and a wonder for science in your kids.

It’ll take time, endurance, and big heaping tablespoons Sugar – failing which the experiment might just fail with no harvest of treasured sugar crystals!!

It is a simple but fascinating experiment one can use to explain to young children, the scientific processes of “nucleation” and “crystallisation”.

There are 3 key steps to making sugar crystals.
1. A saturated solution.
2. A “seed crystal” that needs to be created or grown.
3. The growth needs to be “nurtured” amidst good “housekeeping” (i.e. cleaning the container).

Try to grow seed crystals out of different types of surfaces so your children can learn that rough surfaces (eg. a string) make better platforms for crystals to form or “cling” to, rather than the smooth ones (eg. a glass panel).

Soon, you find them conversant with the concepts of solute, solvent, dilution, concentration, saturation, precipitation, purification, molecular structure and the awesome wonders of chemical reaction!

Check out http://chemistry.about.com/cs/growingcrystals/a/aa012604.htm for detailed instructions and watch a video here for other types of (non-sugar) crystals.

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Gather the materials required
Make a saturated solution

Pour the solution into a clean container
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Categories: Free, Learning Projects, Science & History

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