Before you start saving the environment, you have to understand it, and the learning process begins during childhood. There are many easy, everyday experiments that will help teach kids the importance of healthy ecosystems. You may remember some of them from your own childhood. And if you don’t, there’s no harm in brushing up your own scientific knowledge! Who knows? You may find that you’re more intrigued by the workings of the natural world than you expected.
Image via FCWA.
Solid, Liquid, and Gas
Hopefully you remember from physics class that elements exist in three states: solid, liquid, and gas. We are familiar with water mostly as a liquid, and a very important liquid at that. Our bodies are composed of 60% water. If we don’t drink enough of it, we can die of dehydration.
We can also consume water as ice. When water is exposed to temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), it freezes. Frozen water has a slightly bigger volume than liquid water. You can explain all of this to your child, and show them how to turn liquid water into ice by putting it in the freezer. Tell them to be sure to check the level of the water when it goes in and when it comes out frozen. The level of the ice will be slightly higher than the level of water because of the increase in volume.
Photo by Göran Höglund.
Water also has a third state: vapor. When the temperature of water increases to 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), it turns into water vapor. You can teach your kids about how water evaporates by mixing salt and water in a plate or flat container and putting it out in the sun. Once the water evaporates, your child will be able to see the salt left behind. You can also explain to your child that this is how we get salt from seawater.
Once your child has grasped evaporation and condensation, you can explain how water evaporates from one place and goes up into the sky to form clouds. These clouds get blown around by the wind and reach different places. However, once the temperature cools enough, the water condenses again and comes down as rain. It’s very important for us to keep this natural system of evaporation and condensation going so that people, animals and plants can all get the water they need.
Photo by Geoff McHugh.
These are some of the simple ways in which you can break down the importance of water and natural cycles to your child. Encourage them to ask questions and perform simple experiments, which they will probably find quite fascinating. Contact us for more information about how you can save the environment.
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Posted by Mark Contorno.