With fall weather finally here, we are enjoying some fall activities. I did this easy science experiment with all of my kindergarten students. We went outside to enjoy the weather and I told students that today they would get to see acorns dance! Students got into groups of 2-3. I gave each group a clear cup filled with water. I then gave everyone a acorn jewel. You could use real acorns or other items from nature, but I had these jewels and was excited to use them. Before students put the acorn into the water, they had to predict if they thought the acorn would float or sink. They then tested their hypothesis.
Once the acorns had sunk to the bottom, I gave each group a pair of kid tweezers. They were given an Alka-Selter tablet in a small cup. (Students were reminded that in science we do not use our sense of taste when we do experiments. They were also reminded to not eat or taste the Alka-Seltzer tablet. Always use caution). Again, they predicted what would happen when they put the tablet into the water. Students used the tweezers to get the tablet and drop it into the water. They loved watching the immediate fizzing (or exploding as children usually call it) and when the acorns began to dance. It is a great opportunity to encourage children to use their sense of hearing with this experiment. The fizzing sound once the tablet is added is fun for kids to listen to.
As the bubbles from the Alka-Seltzer touch and attach to the acorns, they begin to rise to the top. When the bubbles pop at the top, the acorn falls back down to the bottom, to then be lifted to the top again by more bubbles. It is beautiful to watch the acorns rise and fall. We had a great discussion and decided that it was almost like the bubbles were hugging the acorns with a life jacket and lifting them to the top. We discussed how when we blow bubbles in water, they rise to the top. The same idea happens with the acorns when they are covered in air/bubbles. This is a very simple science idea, but it encourages children to look closer at things around them. It also encourages a love of science!