We all know what crystals are. Solids with their atoms arranged in a definite pattern are called crystals. Sugar, salt, diamonds, quarts and alum are all crystals. Activities such as growing crystals make homeschool curriculum fun while providing a great learning experience.
A Geode is a crystal that is formed in solidified lava. When the lava is in liquid form, it traps air bubbles. Over time these air bubbles get filled with mineral-rich ground water. The minerals in the ground water begin to form crystals, thus forming a geode.
A geode is mostly rounded and looks dull from the outside. If you break a geode open, you will find beautiful crystalline patterns on the inside. Your child would love it if you add this activity to his or her homeschool curriculum
To make a Geode we need something that acts as a bubble. We will use an eggshell for this purpose. Then we need something that will act as mineral-rich ground water. We will use a super saturated solution of alum for this purpose.
Making a Super Saturated Solution
Fill a heat-resistant glass container up to one third level with water. Now add some alum crystals and stir the water till the salt dissolves. Add some more crystals and continue stirring. If you continue this process, you will find that after a particular point the alum will stop dissolving in the water and begin to collect at the bottom. This solution is called a saturated solution.
Now heat the alum solution slightly and continue stirring. You will see that the alum at the bottom now get’s dissolved. Continue adding alum until it dissolves no more. Now you’ve got a super saturated solution. Most activities that I include in my homeschool curriculum are as easy to perform as this one.
Crystals grow when particles in the super saturated solution collect and adhere together. Other particles join in and a crystal is formed. This crystal continues to grow for some time and then stops growing. Now the crystals need help to grow further. You can do so by introducing a rough object such as a stick or a rock into the solution.
Alternatively, you can introduce a “seed” into the solution. A seed in this case is a small single crystal of alum. Once a seed crystal is introduced, the alum particles in the solution cling to it, making it grow.
Making the Geode
Make an opening in an eggshell and remove the yoke and the egg white. Remove the inner membrane; wash the egg and leave it to dry. Now fill this shell with the super saturated alum solution and leave it in a safe place for the geode to form. Place a seed in it if required.
Observe the formation of crystals inside the eggshell daily. By the end of the first day, you will see the crystals forming. Keep it till you are satisfied with the amount of crystals grown. Now you may throw out the rest of the solution and allow your geode to dry. Once formed, you can gently and carefully remove the egg shell, leaving behind a translucent crystal geode.
Make sure you add this fun activity to your kid’s homeschool curriculum. Check out the free “Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Teaching Science”, for more great science experiments and activities, click the link below.
Article Source Link by Aurora Lipper