Saturday, May 31, 2014
Summer Fun 2014 - Melting Ice With a Magnifying Glass
Once your children have finished roasting/burning all your marshmallows with a magnifying glass, and before they realize they have the power to catch the entire yard on fire...
...you might want to have an alternate, less hazardous, but still fascinating project on hand.
A large (large enough to stick around for a while in the summer heat) chunk of ice, does the trick nicely. Focusing tight beams of sunlight at the ice, will at first appear to be doing nothing, but after a few seconds, children will begin to hear the ice popping and cracking under the heat.
They might not be able to see the results of their work, but they will be able to feel the holes being formed. Move the magnifying glass, before you feel for holes. The focused beam of light burns fingers as easily as it melts ice.
Food coloring dropped on top of the ice, will puddle in the holes.
After a few minutes, a focused beam of light will start to melt deeply into the ice. The water in the hole will boil, and as the steam rises...
...and is cooled by the surrounding ice, it will form little smoke-like wisps of fog...
...which, we think, are pretty cool.