Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stalactites hold tight!

I was looking at the icicles on my friend Gerry's porch Torch Lake Views when I thought that this would make a great science experiment.

So here's how to make stalactites and stalagmites.

Collect two glass jars, two fishing sinkers, epsom salts, string and a small plate. Fill the glass jars with hot water from the tap and stir in as much epsom salts as will dissolve. Wet a piece of 18 inch long string, tie a sinker to either end and hang it in the solution as shown in the diagram. Leave it undisturbed in a warm place for a week, then come back daily and check it out.

Here's a handy saying to help you remember which is which:

Stalactites have to hold on tight to stay on the ceiling of the cave. Stalagmites have to be mighty to stand up on the floor of the cave.

* You can also try this with baking soda, salt or sugar. And hey - add some food coloring just for fun!

Try looking at your crystals through a magnifying glass. What shape can you see?

Word Bank
week, salt, soda, cave, warm, add, epsom salts, magnifying, crystals, diagram, ceiling