Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Science Experiment

When I picked up my son from daycare a few days ago I noticed that there were lots of pine cones that had fallen from the trees surrounding the parking lot. I decided to pick up a few of those pine cones for us to use in a little experiment. Notice how wide open the pine cones are in the picture above.

We put the pine cones in Ziploc bags with about 1/2 inch of water and sealed them up. We laid them on the counter overnight. We talked about what we thought would happen to the pine cones and the water. He first said they would take a nap and then he was hoping for lots of bugs, I was not.

The next morning we checked our pine cones to discover that they had completely closed up. We pulled them out of the bags and discussed what had caused that effect on the pine cone. Why did it close? Would it open back up? Why do plants need water? Do plants need light too?

I kept one pine cone out to use as a sample of how the pines cones looked when we started the experiment, it is on the left and the one that was in the water overnight is on the right.

The second half of the experiment was to place the pine cones on the deck in the sun. After a bit, the pine cones opened right back up.

He was impressed with this experiment as it was quite visual and he only had to focus in small bursts. It is best to keep your child's age and attention span in mind when picking out a science experiment to try. My son is only 3 three so this was perfect for him.

Check out some more great experiments on Science Sunday at Adventures of Mommydom.

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1 comment:

  1. We have found pine cones with the seeds still in them and heated them in the oven. They open up and drop their seeds, then when you take them out of the oven, they close back up again. I didn't realize they would do it just leaving them out. Very cool experiment.