Growing Crystals

While Abby is more likely to join me in my crafty pursuits,
Joe is always on board when I want to do a science project.

The project of the day was
growing crystals

Here's what you do:

1.  tie your string into knots (or use a pipe cleaner to form a certain shape.  we just used what was on hand)
2.  tie the string or pipe cleaner shape to a pencil and hang over the top of the jar
3.  boil a pot of water and add borax (also what we had on hand.  i think sugar or salt works as well.) until no more will dissolve.  scientists refer to this as the saturation point.  pour the solution into your jar until it covers the knots completely.
4.  hot water can hold more borax than cold water.  the crystals will grow as the water cools.  scientists call this precipitation and it is the same way that snowflakes form.

The next day take them out of the solution.
Hang them in the window.  They make beautiful sun catchers.
The bottom of the jar was also covered with crystals.
We thought that by coloring the solution we would get colored crystals. 
Not so.  If you want colored crystals, use colored pipe cleaners.

Ahhh.  The glories of precipitation.
It takes me back to my days in chemistry lab. 
My college roommate was also my lab partner and we were stellar at precipitates.  Although we never seemed to have the right amount of product.  Such and such amount of sodium and such and such amount of chloride theoretically makes this amount of salt. 
We defied theoretical science every time!


  1. Thanks, Becca. Would you say that this would be a chemical change with a solid being formed? We need an easy demo of that for my Sci. class.

  2. i think it would be. they do take overnight to grow.


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