Backyard Science: Making crazy crystals and suncatchers

Sunrise Interviews

We are kicking off the new school year with a fun backyard science experiment. Justin Janssen, a curriculum specialist with Greenfield Union School District joined the Sunrise crew on Wednesday to explain how to make crazy crystals and suncatchers.

Crystal Suncatcher:

Materials
● Epsom Salt
● Clear Recycled Plastic Lids
● Hot Water
● Empty Jar
● String

Steps:
Step 1: Measure out 1 cup of epsom salt and add to the empty jar.
Step 2: Measure 1 cup of hot water, either using a microwave to heat or very hot tap water.
Step 3: Pour the water into the jar with the salt and stir for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the salt.
Step 4: Place the plastic lids on a tray
Step 5: Pour the salt and water liquid into the plastic lids. Pour just enough to cover the bottom.
Step 6: Place the lids in a sunny location so the water will evaporate leaving the crystalized salt behind.
Step 7: Once all of the water has evaporated, poke a hole in the lid and tie the string to hang it up.

Crystal Garden:

Materials
● Epsom Salt
● Clean Glass Jar
● Food Coloring
● Hot Water
● Pebble or Sand

Steps
Step 1: Measure out 1 cup of epsom salt and add to the empty jar.
Step 2: Measure 1 cup of hot water, either using a microwave or very hot tap water.
Step 3: Add the food coloring to the hot water.
Step 4: Pour the water into the jar with the salt and stir for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the salt.
Step 5: Add the pebble or a few grains of sand salt water mixture.
Step 6: Place the jar in the freezer for 10 minutes and then move to the refrigerator overnight.

For more experiments like this, you can check out the webpage for the citizen scientist project through CSUB.

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