Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Posts tagged ‘science’

What’s The Ten-Year-Old reading this week?

The ability to explain complicated ideas in simple terms is a rare, but valuable skill. In Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe sets out to explain how complicated stuff like the microwave (food-heating radio box), the International Space Station (shared space house), and tectonic plates (the big flat rocks we live on) work using only the 1000 most commonly used words.

“How does a Galileo thermometer work?”

When The Ten-Year-Old first asked how Galileo thermometers work many moons ago, Daddyo knew the answer right away. Galileo thermometers operate on the principle that the density of a liquid changes with temperature, and that lower density objects float in higher density liquids. At first we surmised that each glass bubble held a liquid with slightly different densities. But it turns out the actual answer is much simpler than that.

“How do I use a Galileo thermometer?”

Our storm glass still isn’t back to normal. So I decided that this would be the week The Nine-Year-Old and I finally learned to use the Galileo thermometer Daddyo gave us all those years ago. Let’s start with the basics. What is a Galileo thermometer and how do you read it?

Feathery crystals at the bottom of a storm glass

“How do we reset the storm glass?”

Last week, we tested our storm glass to see whether the crystals were forming (or dissolving) in response to changes in temperature. Short answer: Yes. At the end of the experiment we were left with a thick and long-lasting collection of grainy crystals at the bottom of the glass. We needed to reset it. But how do you reset a storm glass?