It's dull, drizzly and was foggy this morning. Not the most inspiring of days and a not so inspired Callum either. He was up at 9.30am, so not horrendously late, but had no get up and go. We dossed about on the sofas drinking tea and watching The Wright Stuff until 10.30am (news and social studies covered, haha) and then he went off and had a shower.
I had a tidy and then we decided to do a couple of science experiments. One was dissolving magnesium strips in vinegar (the only clear vinegar we had was rice wine vinegar, but it still worked). He measured out the vinegar in a test tube, cut up a piece of magnesium and place it in the vinegar. It immediately started to bubble (producing hydrogen gas). He then had to heat the test tube over the methylated spirit burner to get the reaction working really well so that he could put on a lid (loosly I might add) and then wait 30 secs before removing the lid and putting in a lit match to get a 'pop' from the hydrogen gas burning.
The two ingredients we used
The magnesium strips (we only used 2cm)
We had to put the test tube aside afterwards as we couldn't dispose of the magnesium strip down the sink until it was dissolved away.
After the experiment was finished, the magnesium strip had been completely dissolved
We then went on to make some sodium hydrogen sulphate solution which we would need for the next couple of experiments. This involved using sodium hydrogen sulphate from the kit and water. He had to again use the spirit burner to dissolve the solid in the liquid before adding more water to give a solution.
Clearly labelled so we don't confuse it with anything else
Must admit Callum wasn't looking to keen on continuing after doing this, so I asked if he wanted a little break whilst I cleared up. Although he loves chemistry, we haven't done a great deal of it and I still think he worries about the chemicals especially if they have warning signs on them. We used rubber gloves and goggles today. The rubber gloves were a nightmare to put on and he got stressed. He also got stressed about using the spirit burner and the tongs, but I want to persevere with it as we are doing simple stuff at the moment and I think he'd like it when it becomes a bit more complicated.
We wanted to have a go at finding energy from foods, but couldn't find a thermometer that we could use safely. Callum was obviously not very forthcoming with doing anything else, so I asked him to have a look on Khan Academy for some maths stuff while I popped up the town to get some extra bits and pieces.
He finished off the addition and subtraction section and earned two more badges and he also had a look at a trigonometry video. He says he kind of understands, but will need a few more looks. Hopefully he does understand as that was the bit I hated most at school. I can do it, but just don't like it. haha.
I went in search of a non-digital thermometer with no luck!! Bought some extra pairs of rubber gloves, some hydrogen peroxide and some disposable gloves and some matches for our science kit. Will have to get a thermometer online, but have managed to track down a wine making one for about £4. Might have a look in Wilkos to see if they do them before I order though. Didn't even think of using a wine one. Der me!
Anyway back to Callum. He still wasn't really up to more experiments and as it was nearly 2pm I gave up. Don't think we've done too badly today considering.
On a different note, we went apple picking at Gore Farm yesterday with two other families (both schooled children) and the following piccies represent the hour or two we were there.
Callum 'lining' up the apples
The 'girls' picking from further down
Tomorrow is Faversham with Mad Science. Just hope Callum feels a little more up for it than today.