When it comes to science experiments kids love science that give a big reaction. Whether things erupt, blast off, grow, shrink, change colour, or go up in flames, an experiment with WOW factor will always capture the imaginations of students. Today we did an experiment with MEL Science that gave us HUGE gasps of delight and had the kids talking for days! We explored combustion in some amazing fire science all as part of our homeschool science lessons.
Science Experiments with Fire
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When it comes to doing science at home it can become challenging as kids enter advanced studies. When they are younger, simple baking soda and vinegar experiments are all the rage, but eventually kids will want to get into more advanced labs and experiments. This can be very daunting for some parents. But there is an answer that will make your homeschool science lessons easier and so much fun! The answer is MEL Science.
We discovered MEL Science last year and after using the first box we were hooked! The quality of this program is top notch. The experiments extremely high quality. The lessons are delivered in a multi-sensory way. Not only can kids use the enclosed written materials, but there is also an app to walk them through the experiments and lessons, plus VR experiences.
Even if you are not homeschooling, if you have a science loving kid, this is an incredible program for them to do just for the love of science!
MEL Science is the program designed for older kids (10 year old and up) and focuses on the sciences. They also offer MEL Kids for younger kids which includes really cool engineering builds along with science.
MEL Science Live Classes
One of the things we really enjoyed about this kit was that we had the chance to attend a virtual classroom with one of the MEL Science professors. This was a live session where the professor went through the experiments, answered questions from students, and provided a wonderful interactive classroom experience. This was our first time attending a live session with a MEL Science professor and I highly recommend it. The professor was engaging, fun and it added a wonderful additional learning experience with no cost.
After attending the live class we set out to do the experiments ourselves. The theme was Flame and I can’t tell you how excited my kids were to set metals and magnesium on fire!
Check out our Combustion Chemistry video!
It was relatively easy to set up. The only thing we needed to provide was a lighter or matches. We found our BBQ lighter was best as it was the easiest for the kids to use.
Everything else we needed either came in the Flame Box or the Starter Kit (when you subscribe you are sent a Starter Kit with all sorts of lab materials).
In this box we had two science experiments:
- Flame Test
- Burning Magnesium
As usual, there was more than enough supplies in the box for two kids to do the experiments. Or to simply repeat the experiment because it was so cool!
Burning Magnesium Science Experiment
First up we did Burning Magnesium.
The cool thing about this experiment, is that it is the metal and reaction behind the 19th Century Photography. This was a really neat historical connection for my budding film maker.
The lesson with this activity includes learning about the Periodic Table of Elements and how the location of the element on the table affects how it behaves. Specifically with burning and combustion, from a chemistry perspective, it is the process of giving electrons to an oxident (usually Oxygen in the air), a reaction which releases heat and light. We learn that elements on the left side of the table are more willing to give up their electrons, which accounts for the spectacular reaction we get with this experiment!
And I mean SPECTACULAR! This reaction burned hot and bright!
As we worked through this lesson we learned a lot of fascinating facts about Magnesium, including how it is used in Fire Works, Flash Grenades and even Rocket Fuel! With our recent space STEM studies, this was a really neat connection.
Metals Flame Test
Next up we learned about metals by burning them.
Now, as blacksmiths, we work with iron in fire a lot, so it was a really fascinating experiment for the kids to see how other metals react to flame.
In this lesson we learned how when things burn some ions and atoms are released into the air and as they settle they emit light. What colour that light appears depends on the metal and the kind of atoms or ions released.
It didn’t take long at all for the kids to realize this is how fireworks get their gorgeous colours!
Fire Science Experiments with MEL Science
We really enjoyed this kit from MEL Science. Working with fire and these kinds of chemical reactions is the kind of science my older kids find fascinating.
As a homeschooling parent, I appreciate that everything I need comes in the box along with very high quality lessons and presentation, especially with the new live lesson options. Once again, MEL Science gets two thumbs up for this kit!