Watch to learn how to do some Valentine’s themed science fun!

Supplies:

  • An empty bottle
  • 4 Alka Seltzer tablets 
  • 1/2 cup water for each round
  • A balloon
  • A Sharpie

Directions

  1. Break the Alka Seltzer tablets into small pieces and drop them into the bottom of the bottle.
  1. Brainstorm a couple of your favorite conversation heart messages and use the Sharpie to draw them on the balloons. (optional)
    *TIP:  the conversation heart is more crisp and clear if you first blow it up with air, temporarily pinch it closed with my fingers and then draw the picture. When drawing the conversation heart while flat and empty, the image stretches too much when the balloon is inflated.
  1. After making a prediction about what will happen, carefully pour the water into the bottle.
  1. Then, speedily stretch the mouth of the balloon with your fingers and stretch it over the rim of the bottle and watch the balloon inflate!

*Science behind it: Similar to the reaction that occurs when you mix baking soda and vinegar, when you pour water on Alka Seltzer tablets, carbon dioxide gas bubbles begin forming.  These gas bubbles rise up in the bottle, filling the balloon with carbon dioxide gas.*

Watch to learn how to make a pipe cleaner Rudolph with a light-up nose!LED Rudolph video

This week’s curbside supply bags included the supplies to make a light-up Rudolph. If you weren’t able to get a supply bag this week, you can follow along with these instructions.

Supplies:

  • 1 coin cell battery

  • 1 brown pipe cleaner

  • 1 gold pipe cleaner

  • 2 googly eyes

  • 1 red LED pin light

  • brown duct tape

  • glue dots or glue

Directions:

  1. Cut both of the pipe cleaners in half.  On both ends of the cut brown pipe cleaner, pull the fur off of about 1/4 and inch of it to leave just the metal exposed.  This helps the pipe cleaners to have a better connection with the metal and makes the light work better.
  2. Twist the end of one brown pipe cleaner half to one side of the LED light. Repeat with the other brown pipe cleaner half.
  3. At the top of the pipe cleaners, bend in at an angle to make the top of the head.
  4. The pins on the lights are different lengths.  The long side of the pin light is positive and the short side is negative. You will need to match those up with the battery charges for the light to turn on.
  5. To make your antlers, cut 2 inches off of the tops of the gold pipe cleaners and twist around the tops of them. Then attach them to the top of the reindeer head on the edges near the bend.
  6. Using brown duct tape, tape the ends of the pipe cleaner around the battery — match up the ends with the correct charge.  You will see it light up if it is correct.
  7. Attach the eyes with glue or glue spots.
  8. Enjoy!

Watch to learn how to make crystal covered pipe cleaner leaves!

This week’s curbside supply bags included the supplies to make Borax crystal leaves. If you weren’t able to get a supply bag this week, you can follow along with these instructions.

Supplies:

  • Borax 
  • Pipe cleaner – in fall colors
  • Popsicle stick
  • String
  • Cup
  • Stainless steel pan or glass 
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Bend your pipe cleaner into the shape of a fall leaf. You will need a place to attach the string, so make sure each leaf has a short stem. Also, the leaf will need to fit in your cup without touching the sides or the bottom, so keep that in mind when creating your designs.
  2. Tie a piece of string to each leaf, and then tie the other end to a popsicle stick. Hang your leaves so that they will be suspended in the borax solution that you will make next.
  3. The regular recipe of ¾ cup of borax and 1 cup of water should be enough for one leaf. Bring the water to a boil. Then stir in the borax. It’s okay if it doesn’t all dissolve. Just stir until you’ve dissolved as much as you can. You want the solution to be completely saturated, so it’s okay if there’s a little borax left at the bottom of the pan. *Note: You can use a regular stainless steel pan on the stove or a glass in the microwave and neither will be damaged.
  4. Pour some borax solution into a cup then suspend the leaf in the cup. Make sure that the leaf is not touching the sides or bottom of the cup!
  5. Take the crystals out of the cup after 5 hours. Leaving them overnight is fine, too. 

*It is not recommended to handle the finished crystals more than you need to. The crystals break easily, so you won’t want to allow kids to carry these around and play with them anyway. They are beautiful to make and display! Try making ornaments out of them by adding a piece of ribbon. 

 

Watch to learn how to make a popsicle stick catapult!

 

This week’s curbside supply bags included the ingredients to make popsicle stick catapults. If you weren’t able to get a supply bag this week, you can follow along with these instructions.

Supplies:

  • 9 craft sticks
  • 4-6 rubber bands
  • 1 plastic spoon
  • mini-pumpkin candies or candy corn
  • markers, paint, stickers, or washi-tape to decorate if desired

Directions:

  1. Take 7 of the craft sticks and tie a rubber band tightly around one end.
  2. Tie another rubber band tightly around the opposite end so all 7 sticks are bound together.
  3. Take the remaining 2 sticks and tie a rubber band on one of the ends. Try to tie the band close to the edge of the sticks.
  4. Insert the 7 sticks banded together between the 2 sticks of the 2 stick bundle.
  5. Tie a rubber band in a cross fashion, joining the two pieces together. The closer the 7 stick bundle gets to the edge, the more leverage the catapult will have.
  6. Decorate catapult if desired.
  7. Use a few rubber bands and attach a plastic spoon to the end.
  8. Launch your pumpkin! The children can have contests to see who can launch it the farthest, or set up small cups and see how many times a pumpkin lands in the cup. Another option is to forego the directions and allow the children to engineer the catapult themselves with the materials provided.



Watch to learn how to make an apple birdfeeder!

This week’s curbside supply bags included the ingredients to make the birdfeeders. If you weren’t able to get a supply bag this week, you can follow along with these instructions.

Supplies:
½ cup birdseed
¼ cup Water
½ packet of unflavored gelatin
1 apple
1 small screw
Twine

Instructions:
1. Bring water to a boil, add gelatin, and stir until completely dissolved.
2. Mix the birdseed into this mixture.
3. Cut the apples in half lengthwise and hollow out the insides with a spoon or knife.
4. Fill each apple with birdseed mixture, set on a sheet pan, and put in the fridge for 1-2 hours or until firm.
5. Poke a screw into the top of each apple and tie a piece of twine to it.
6. Hang outside for all the birds to enjoy!

As kids are gearing up to go back to school, it’s more important than ever to understand how to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Watch Jason Fritz, MPH, of the Williamson County Cities and Health District to learn how to stay safe and healthy.

Watch to learn how to make a cake in a mug!

This week’s curbside supply bags included the ingredients to make Mug Cakes. If you weren’t able to get a supply bag this week, you can follow along with these instructions.

Supplies provided:
4 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of Sprinkles
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Supplies needed from home:
12-ounce microwave safe mug or larger
3 tablespoons milk
Optional toppings: mini marshmallows, whipping cream, frosting

PREPARATION:
In a 12-ounce mug or larger, mix all ingredients until just combined. Microwave on high for 90 seconds to 2 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t spill over. Let cool one minute before eating.