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The Science Spell Book: Magical Experiments for Kids

Tekijä: Cara Florance

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"Have you ever wished you could cast a real spell with the wave of a magic wand? Have you ever wanted to mix a real color-changing potion? Now kids can perform magical feats with a few simple ingredients and a little help from science. Written by biochemist Cara Florance, Science Spells is the perfect way to engage kids while teaching them about science. Each experiment includes simple instructions, diagrams to follow along with, and an explanation of the science behind each magical experiment. Experiments include: Elixir of Enlightenment: Brew a stunning color-changing tea Sanguine Energy: Use electricity to draw a picture Fluorescent Feast: Create a meal that glows under a black light Magic Wand: Build your very own wand that lights up when you grasp it And more!"--… (lisätietoja)
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The idea of making apparently magical changes with various common ingredients was a great way to entice children into finding out that science is interesting. The basis for the experiments used sound principles and in most cases, provided clear directions. The following remarks are my personal opinion, having spent nearly 4 decades in various fields of scientific research. My comments touch on only a few of the suggested investigations which were the most severely inappropriate. Moreover, I could not exhaustively evaluate all the possible outcomes in the projects I mention as activities to avoid.

The introduction should be carefully taken to heart. An adult supervisor is crucial to facilitate these projects, especially for children inexperienced in a kitchen or workshop environment. It would be wise to try out some of the ideas ahead of time to explore how to ensure success. For example, reading through the supplies and procedures (steps) should be well-understood before launching the experiment.

However, there were certain projects that should never have been included. Forge of the Microbes is one such activity that could lead to a disastrous outcome. The worst thing to promote is microbial culturing by amateurs. Unless an adult understands safe preparation of the ingredients to maintain aseptic technique and incubation using sterile supplies, the resulting 4-week uncontrolled incubation could easily be contaminated by inappropriate, commonly-occurring microbes present in even the cleanest of home environments.

To then allow one’s child to eat anything they’ve developed with an unpasteurized inoculant (Kombucha, in this case) poses an unacceptable health risk. One cannot know for sure that the store-bought item carries no other malignant bacteria, fungus or other unintentional microbe which can grow alongside the Kombucha organisms, not to mention from microbial contamination in the home.

On the other hand, The Fluorescent Feast is great fun and the ingredients are perfectly normal supplies in any kitchen. I tried this out myself. Although one has to perhaps fiddle a bit with concentrations and freshness of the various seasonings, it would enchant any curious budding scientist, even if they were hesitant to eat this food.

The other major stand out that carried a red flag for me is the use of Butterfly Pea Flowers (or the powder from dried flowers) as a source of blue colorants. A stable blue extract is hard to manipulate in a non-laboratory setting, so it is understandable that in Elixir of Enlightenment and Transfigured Fare experiments, this source of colorant is suggested. However, Butterfly Pea Flowers (harvested from Clitoria ternatea vines) contain a poison (ternatin). You can check out this poison by reading about 3'- and 5'-polyacylated anthocyanins (Kazuma et al. 2003 Phytochemistry 64, 1133-1139).

A great use for Butterfly Pea flowers or the powder, is in the Color Inversion Spell. This is a really fun demonstration of using pH indicators (acid/base reactions) in an artful way, with no eating involved

It is always wise to check out the sources of suggested ingredients for food or beverages. If the required item isn’t available as a standard item in an ordinary grocery store chain, ask your pharmacist for advice or check out your national health agency. Remember that results of online searches are not sorted for credibility or a reliable source of safe use. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Dec 26, 2022 |
Synergy: Experiments

Experiments are procedures designed to support or refute a hypothesis. They demonstrate what outcome occurs when a particular variable is manipulated. To children, hands-on, scientific experiments can seem like magic.

Read the recently published nonfiction book, then learn more at the website:

THE SCIENCE SPELL BOOK: MAGICAL EXPERIMENTS FOR KIDS by Cara Florance provides a fun way for children to learn about physics, biology, and chemistry through common household items. From using electricity to draw pictures to creating a fluorescent feast, readers explore the science behind magical experiments. Chapter titles such as illumination, sorcery, and alchemy enhance the magic theme, while the individual experiments keeping the focus on real-world science concepts. ARC courtesy of Sourcebooks Explore.

YOUTUBE features video channels that connect the science with the fun of magic tricks. For instance, 5-MINUTE MAGIC provides short videos on a wide range of topics. The playlists includes topics such as science experiments, magic tricks, and top experiments.

To watch videos, go to https://www.youtube.com/c/5MINUTEMAGIC. ( )
  eduscapes | Jul 5, 2022 |
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"Have you ever wished you could cast a real spell with the wave of a magic wand? Have you ever wanted to mix a real color-changing potion? Now kids can perform magical feats with a few simple ingredients and a little help from science. Written by biochemist Cara Florance, Science Spells is the perfect way to engage kids while teaching them about science. Each experiment includes simple instructions, diagrams to follow along with, and an explanation of the science behind each magical experiment. Experiments include: Elixir of Enlightenment: Brew a stunning color-changing tea Sanguine Energy: Use electricity to draw a picture Fluorescent Feast: Create a meal that glows under a black light Magic Wand: Build your very own wand that lights up when you grasp it And more!"--

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