Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts tagged ‘science’

a purple bottle with silver polka dots lies on its side. a measuring tape is stretched across its length.

“How much did that plastic bottle shrink in the dishwasher?”

I got lazy this week so ran my daughter’s plastic (I know) reusable water bottle through the dishwater. It did not survive the experience. (I know.) But it did make for a fabulous opportunity to do a little science (and math — ssh!). Join my daughter and I as we figure out why our plastic water bottle melted in the dishwasher, and by how much.

The movie poster for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs shows Snow White, the 7 dwarfs, the evil queen, and the handsome prince arranged in a rough triangle in the foreground. A grey castle stands in the background. A blue oval at the bottom displays the movie title.

“Snow White was filmed in 1937? Did they even have TVs back then?”

One of the wonderful things about having both Netflix and a child is that you get to introduce her to all of your favorite childhood movies in the comfort of your own living room. This week’s movie was the 1937 edition of Snow White, and as usual, my daughter had questions about it. “This Snow White was filmed in 1937? Did they even have TVs back then?”

fresh baked brownies in a clear baking pan

“Why do you have to change baking recipes at high altitudes?”

Hi all, it’s back to school time here at Caterpickles Central, which means my annual summer hiatus from blogging about the random questions that pop up in our lives is over. It also means that it’s time to bake the annual batch of back-to-school brownies. I normally skip over high altitude baking instructions because they aren’t relevant to my life, but today, for whatever reason, they caught my eye. My brownie mix said to add extra flour and water in high altitude locations and I couldn’t help but wonder why.

Excerpt from Candy Experiments which says: Never heat a jawbreaker.

“Why can’t you heat a jawbreaker?”

In an effort to finally rid the house of leftover Easter candy, I snagged a copy of Loralee Leavitt’s Candy Experiments and began to flip through looking for a way to dispose of all those unwanted Peeps. I hadn’t gotten very far before I found the warning: “Never heat a jawbreaker.” And all I’ve been able to think about since is why. Why can’t you heat a jawbreaker? What happens?

On the left side is a photo of a pine cone. On the right is an artichoke.

“Are artichokes and pine cones related?”

Since we’ve moved to California, I’ve been mildly obsessed with pine cones. The tree in our backyard grows some truly enormous ones, and I’ve been spending a lot of time dodging them. You know what else I’ve dodged a lot of in California? Artichokes. In dodging both pine cones and artichokes, I can’t help but notice how physically similar they are. So I started to wonder, are pine cones and artichokes related?

“Is there an official landing pad for UFOs?”

Stopping at the Bonneville salt flats on our road trip to California naturally got the Ten-Year-Old thinking about alien planets and the beings that travel away from them. “Mommyo,” she asked when we were back on the road. “Is there an official landing pad for UFOs?”