Curious Kids: Engaging Children with Science

The aim of this project is to engage children with science by doing exciting and interactive activities with corresponding lessons. The project consists of two different activities, one about density and one about chemical reactions, which will be implemented at the Children’s Museum of Iowa. For the density activity, kids will be making a “rainbow-in-a-cup" where they will combine equal parts of four different liquids: blue dish soap, dyed-red corn syrup, dyed-yellow vegetable oil, and dyed-green rubbing alcohol. The liquids will separate in the container to look like a rainbow, and the concept of density will be introduced. To teach about chemical reactions, the kids will make slime. This activity has the potential to explain how different molecules combine to form something new and about endothermic versus endothermic reactions, both of which can be incorporated at varying detail levels depending on the child’s age. I will send the kids home with a sheet that includes a QR code to the Stem-o-sphere website “lesson plan” tab where they can find more STEM activities to do in the future. Hopefully my project ignites or continues to foster childrens’ curiosity for the STEM field and conveys that science can be fun!

Project Author(s): 
Author Bio(s): 
Natalie Voss is a senior from Johnston, Iowa studying biochemistry with minors in chemistry and psychology. She is researching Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus and urge incontinence for the Geerling Lab in the Department of Neurology. She is also involved in the University of Iowa Sparkles Cheerleading team, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club, and volunteering in the UIHC Sports Medicine unit. As a Latham Fellow, Natalie would like to advocate for elementary and middle school aged girls to get involved in STEM fields. Natalie’s hobbies include watching movies, traveling to new places, and spending quality time with family and friends.