Botany or the study of plants is a great way to introduce simple and basic plant concepts. Plants have many components like leaves, which make parts of trees, bushes, and flowers. When plants grow, they can produce seeds, fruits and leaves. But leaves are powerful producers of photosynthesis. They harness the sunlight energy in the presence of carbon dioxide and water to manufacture sugars necessary for plants to live. Without leaves, trees and plants would not be able to exist.
Leaves are present in different shapes and sizes. Botanists are experts that can distinguish between the various types of leaves. Some leaves can be long, oblong, or short, circular. But these can vary. From simple to complex ones, most leaves have veins. These channels carry nutrients and water to plants.
But young nature explorers can also identify and distinguish the different types of leaves. In this project, children along with adults can explore backyards or parks for several leaves. Children should always be along side adults when exploring unknown places.
How to use broken pieces of crayons?
Pieces of crayons
Aluminum muffin liners
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
Collect as many broken pieces of crayons
Separate them by color or color tones
Place them on separate muffin liners
Insert into oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Warning: Only adults should take the muffin pan out.
Let the crayons cool
Once cool, gently take them out and place on a paper plate or other suitable place
Use to color, draw or to do the leaves project below
How to use crayons to identify types of leaves?
Collect fallen leaves in your backyard or park
Select leaves with various shapes and sizes (tip: Make sure to not gather crunchy leaves. They tend to break for this project)
Place them on a plastic bag
Arrange them on construction paper
Color the side with veins
Paste them with glue and let them dry
Study the veins and contour arrangements
Did you notice the different shapes of each leaf? Did you notice the veins as you color the leaf? When doing this project, make sure to study the structures, forms, and color of each leaf.
School science projects can be an exciting time for students who like to explore the wonders of nature. For children, it is a great time to explain the many natural processes that occur around us. A very simple science project, to begin with, is the process of growing a Lima bean seed.
Lima bean seeds are easy to grow and resilient to climate changes. They have a fast growing rate: most beans will sprout in about 14 days. If you’re planning on performing this science project, please be aware of the time it takes to complete the project and the deadline of the science project.
Lima bean seeds are also called ‘butter beans’. It is believed that Lima beans or Phaseolus lunatus originated in South America around 2000 BC. By 800 AD, Lima beans were exported to different parts of Europe and America. Lima bean seeds have a characteristic kidney-liked shape. They are about 1-3 cm long and are usually white. As legumes, Lima beans provide good fiber content and other nutritional minerals.
In this project, you’ll learn how to start the growth of a Lima bean seed and monitor its process.
Materials needed for this project are:
1 clear, clean jar (plastic or glass)
3-4 Lima beans
1 small piece of paper (optional)
Clean the jar thoroughly with mild soap and water. Let dry or wipe dry completely. Set aside. Tip: if using a glass jar, place in a safe place in case of breakage.
Select 3-4 Lima bean seeds. Set aside. Tip: avoid selecting more than 4 beans to allow roots to grow.
Use adhesive tape to cover a small section of the jar with dark colored paper. Tip: if not testing for light and dark growth, then skip this section.
Use a dry paper towel and insert into the jar.
Insert the beans one a time. Try to spread the beans throughout the jar. Make sure to add 2 beans to the dark part of the jar and 2 beans to the light side of the jar.
Spray the paper towel with water. Avoid soaking the paper towel. Tip: To retain moisture in the jar, slightly cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap.
Place on a sunny area but avoid excessive heat or cold.
Water every day.
Monitor the growth of the Lima bean:
The most amazing part of growing any plant is to display them. Once the science project is done, you can plant them into potting soil.
Serendipity, it happened! Well, that’s what scientists call it when an accidental science discovery is made. And that’s what James Wright called Silly Putty, when he discovered his new invention.
But this rubbery substance was not a toy at first. During World War II, the United States was trying to find a solution to the high demand of rubber usage. General Electric was contracted to find an alternative to rubber. A chemist, James Wright, experimenting to seek a solution to synthetic rubber found Silly Putty. Yet, the fun toy was not widely accepted until a few years later.
It wasn’t until 1956 that Peter Hodgson commercialized Silly Putty. It began to sell in catalogs and soon became a popular toy. It is now widely available around the world. This novelty toy is mostly composed of silicone and boric acid. And, of course, it has the typical characteristic of bouncing and stretching to the limits.
Silly Putty is now available in many different colors for anyone to enjoy. Other playful uses are comic impressions. Place it on top of a piece of comic strip and gently lift up. And you have a comic imprint. Silly Putty is also available in color changing and glow-in-the-dark shapes. Have fun making silly but fun shapes and other cool experiments with this rubbery substance.
How to Make Silly Putty
Here, a cool experiment is done to simulate the texture of Silly Putty. This project is not recommended for children under 4 years old.
Regular white glue
Medium size bowl
Place old newspaper on the working surface
Mix 4 tbsp. of cornstarch with 2 tbsp. of glue inside a bowl
Gently add a few drops of water to the mixture
Keep adding water until it forms a consistency of pudding as seen in Figure 1
Add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring, until desired shade of color
Mix all ingredients together with a spoon
Add water if necessary
Place on non-stick aluminum foil or heavy-duty paper plate with coating
Form different letter shapes or numbers
Let children play (Figure 2) with this type of dough to develop different textures. You can also freeze it to see the effects of temperature. I don’t recommend heating or applying heat to this substance. Discard in a wastebasket after playing with it.
“The stretchy, snappy, squishy science of Silly Putty” by Emily Costello. SuperScience Scholastics 2002. Pg. 12-13.