Summer School -- Chemistry

We started "God's Design for Chemistry--Properties of Matter" today, and it was fun doing the experiment. (I linked to the AiG website page with "God's Design," curricula, but I must note that I bought mine several years ago and it appears to have been updated since then.)

I lightly discussed with the Campbell kids the info in the first two chapters, which covered, among other things, the basic definition for matter (something that has mass and takes up space). We thought it was interesting that even air is considered matter.

The second chapter dealt with "The Scientific Method," and how a chemist/scientist handles experiments.

Here's the Scientific Method Worksheets (you can see that Sara, on the left, has already personalized hers), which we used to record our experiment details and findings.

We learned about having a "control"--something to base our findings upon--which in this case was a bottle (#1) with hot water and yeast. Bottle #2 had hot water, yeast, and granulated sugar; and bottle #3 had hot water, yeast, and molasses. We were determining which bottle would produce the most gas, the one with sugar or the one with molasses.

Iain and I guessed it would be sugar (my reason was that it tastes sweeter), but both girls guessed it would be molasses.

These are our bottles, #1, #2, and #3 (from left to right), at the start of the experiment...

And 15 minutes later, the control bottle (#1) had sucked the balloon inside the neck, the sugar bottle (#2) was slightly puffy, and the molasses bottle (#3) was even less puffy (and I was feeling pretty good about my hypothesis--my guess that sugar would be the winner)...

Another 15 minutes went by, and the control hadn't changed any but sugar (#2) was inflated to a circumference of 5 3/4 inches, and molasses (#3) was measuring 5 1/2 inches (oh yeah...)

Yet another 15 minutes later, and control (#1) is still unchanged, sugar (#2) is measuring 6 inches, and now molasses (#3) is measuring at 6 3/4 inches....uh oh.....

And, 15 minutes later we had a clear winner...(#2) sugar had swelled to 7 inches, but (#3) molasses passed it by 3 inches to end with a circumference of 10 inches! (And the girls did a little victory dance, which I won't post for humility's sake.)

Once we were done with our experiment, Iain asked to take off the balloons. The control (#1) with only the yeast and water had forcefully drawn the balloon into the bottle. As you can see, it would suck it back in whenever it was pulled out...


As my chemist-hubby explained, this was due to the yeast trying to get oxygen in order to grow while the balloon was blocking the entrance of air into the bottle. We thought it was pretty funny.

This book (by Debbie and Richard Lawrence) is designed for grades 3-7, and it was too much info to simply read it all to my kids. I think the work was fine for Sara and Iain (going into grades 2 and 3), but I needed to read it myself and summarize things so their eyes wouldn't glaze over. I think it is interesting and well written, though, and it is a wonderful bonus that it is creation science-based (which I knew when I bought it from Answer in Genesis) so it explains the differences in scientific study between evolutionists vs. creationists.


  1. I am going to use that curriculum with Seth. I might even use it with my older ones as a refresher for the ACT.


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