Friday, June 24, 2016

Wildflower Color Science

This week we kicked off our Simple Summer Themes with Science Week. We've had a blast with a variety of science experiments and explorations, all using materials we have on hand.  For this experiment we were inspired to use something from nature: wildflowers.

I love that this time of year both in the yard and along the roads, flowers are blooming. The boys and I went for a walk the other day and collected several different varieties of white wildflowers with the classic flower dyeing experiment in mind. We were curious to see how it worked with wildflowers. 

Along our walk we collected yarrow, wild daisies, and a variety of Queen Anne's Lace. We brought the flowers back to the house to begin our experiment. 

Additional Materials:
Food Coloring
Small jars or vases

Using an Experiment Log: 
I wanted to make some of our science experiments feel more official and also to get the boys to think through what we were doing and why we were doing it. So, I created an Experiment Log for us to use. (If you click the link you can grab your own free copy of the log.) 

For this experiment we asked the question, "Will the wildflowers change color?" Big Brother filled out his own log and I filled out one for Little Brother. They each made their own predictions and drew pictures for the materials and set up. 

The Experiment: 
1) We used four different colors of dye - red, yellow, green, and blue. The boys each took 2 of the colors and squeezed one color into one of the four jars. 
2) They carefully added a little water to each jar. 
3) The boys then added one of each variety of flowers to each jar. (So each jar had three flowers.) 

4) We set the flowers aside where we could watch them and left them over night.

We were pretty excited the next morning to discover our results: every flower had picked up at least a little color and some of them had changed quite a bit!

Among the different colors, the yellow colored flowers were the lightest. The red and green were both very bright. We were especially surprised with how well the Queen Anne's Lace picked up coloring. 

The flowers were pretty enough we kept them around for several days on the table! This was a fun and easy way to help kids explore how plants absorb water through their roots/stems and transfer the water throughout the whole flower. 

Keep reading later this week to see more of our science fun! 

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