Crystals are made when a substance has atoms or molecules that form in a very organized, repeating, 3D pattern. Usually when we think of crystals we think of some well-known gemstones like diamonds or rubies, but there are some very common crystals too. Sugar, ice, snowflakes, salt...all of these are crystals. You can make your own crystals grow.
Try it at Home! You will need:
2 Glasses or Jars
Fill each glass with water. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to each glass. Stir the mixture. If all of the baking soda dissolves, add a little more baking soda and stir. Add baking soda until the water can't dissolve it anymore, the mixture is saturated. That means the water is holding as much of the baking soda as it can. You can add a few drops of food coloring to each glass to make the crystals colorful. Tie a paper clip to each end of the piece of yarn or string. Drop one paperclip into each glass letting the string dangle in a smile shape in between the glasses but not touching the plate. Watch the string over the next few days to see the crystals form along the string.
The picture on the right shows you what the baking soda crystals will look like after a few days. As the days go by and the water in the baking soda solution evaporates, the level of the water will go down. Make sure the end of the string with the paper clip on it stays submerged in the baking soda water in the glass.
Science Experiment Idea
Grow more than one kind of crystal. Use salt, sugar, and baking soda. Keep a chart as you observe how the crystals grow over the next few weeks. Which one do you think will grow the biggest? Which one will form the fastest?
You can also ask a math and science expert for homework help by calling the Ask Rose Homework Hotline. They provide FREE math and science homework help to Indiana students in grades 6-12.
Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about crystals at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or text a librarian at 317 333-6877.
Learn about the qualities and identifying characteristics of crystals, the amazing naturally occurring patterns that happen in both minerals and snowflakes. No two are exactly alike, and yet each one has a uniform and repeating pattern. You can study how crystals form by growing some of your own! #indyplkids IndyPL_CarrieW
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