Wednesday, December 12, 2007

He blinded me with...

SCIENCE! Tonight, Chef Jr. and I worked on the experiment portion of his science project. Ed and I thought he had another week to conduct the trials, but it is due Friday.

What is the project subject matter? Which product makes the biggest bubbles. It was inspired and it only involved a couple of hours of trials. We tested two types of normal bubble solution, Body Shop's bubble bath, Ultra Palmolive Soap and Kirkland Dishwashing Detergent. Each item had to be tested five times, but fortunately, it went relatively quickly.

I was smart. He dictated what his observations were during the process and this means tomorrow night's work load isn't that bad. This is where the ADHD was obvious-he'd manipulate the fixed items (the fan, the line measuring the distance from the fan and the bubble wand) and we'd have to put them back. He forgot why we were doing some of the process, but gosh, what he remembered was pretty neat.

You're probably thinking "how do you measure bubbles, anyway?" We had talked about it and figured we would use pieces of colored paper to 'catch' the bubbles. He'd draw an outline of the wet mark that the soap residue would leave on the paper. Alas, the bubbles barely left a drop of liquid on the paper! Back to the drawing board.

What ended up happening was that I was running around, chasing bubbles that had been blown with a ruler. This provided a lot of amusement for Chef Jr! He thought it was a trip that I had to run back and forth to get the bubbles. Believe it or not, the new method worked decently. The soap would leave a residue, I'd mark the ends with my thumbnails and then we'd figure out the measurement.

Looking at the raw data, Super Miracle Bubbles, purchased at Wal Mart, made the best bubbles. Little Kids bubble liquid was so much thinner, didn't make nearly as big bubbles and popped more than it blew up. The bubble bath made one bubble, despite many tries. The dish soap made pretty consistent bubbles-it was the easiest to work with.

Oh, if you're out of bubble stuff? Don't use dishwasher crystals. It was important to throw in something that wouldn't work, so he could use the process and form a hypothesis based on what he had already observed.

It'll be really neat to see what he does with the raw data when it's time to compile the report tomorrow. I can see several ways to present the statistics, but one thing has always been crystal clear with him. He's got his own opinions and isn't afraid of voicing them.

It was a lot of fun to spend a few hours playing with bubbles in the name of science. I wonder if next year, he'll choose something else fun. I hope so!

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