Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Team WhyMommy's Virtual Science Fair

This post is in support of Susan Nieber, aka WhyMommy of Toddler Planet, a real live rocket scientist (okay, okay, technically an astrophysicist) who is undergoing surgery today after the doctors discovered a local regional recurrence of breast cancer in the lymph nodes under her armpit. Susan has been fighting inflammatory breast cancer and educating others about it since her diagnosis in 2007.

Also in her honor, and in honor of my mom who also battled breast cancer in 2007 I recently joined the Army of Women. I hope you'll click over and join today. We need more research. For Susan. For my mom. For all of us.

I am definitely not a scientist so taking on the challenge of being part of this Virtual Science Fair in honor of WhyMommy (as conceived by the amazing Stimey of Stimeyland!) was a bit out of my comfort zone. You see, if we were at home right now, Lucas, Nathaniel and I would have simply packed a picnic lunch, hopped in the car and spent a lovely afternoon at the NASA Goddard Visitor's Center.

But, alas, we are still in Pennsylvania for an extended Easter visit with my parents so I had to think a little bit harder about what to do. Lucas has been quite interested in volcanoes lately, and you know I just love anything to do with baking soda and vinegar, so I did a google search for "easy volcano with baking soda and vinegar." Among the things that came up were directions to make a rocket! A baking soda and vinegar rocket in honor of an astrophysicist? Perfect!

Of course the rocket was a big FAIL.

Why aren't you exploding high in the air little Ziploc container rocket?

(The directions were to pack a small container with a tight-fitting lid with baking soda, add a few tablespoons of vinegar, quickly close, turn upside down, stand back and watch it shoot up in the air. We packed and repacked and added more vinegar and still, there it sat. What? Went? Wrong?)

Lucky for me, I had prepped Lucas about how experiments are a way to try something and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't but it is fun to try and see what happens.

(Whew! Score one for Mama!)

Also to be filed in the lucky-for-me category, baking soda and vinegar produce a ton of foam which is really, really cool to a 4 year old.

So cool, in fact, that we used the entire bottle of white vinegar to watch the baking soda foam over and over and over and over and over again!

Also cool to a 4 year old: a paste of baking soda!

So, thanks WhyMommy for inspiring this mama to step outside her comfort zone and conduct a fun experiment with her son. We're thinking about you today!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!


  1. Love the post, love your son's happy face!

  2. Hooray for foam! And sometimes experiments that don't work out the way we expected provide answers we didn't know were out there (penicillin, ...). Looks like you had lots of fun.

  3. Love it. This is precisely a science experiment that would happen with my family too. That first photo cracked me up. Hooray for foam, right? And isn't the theory that you can learn more from failure than from success? (In which case, I must be supah smart!) I love these photos! Honestly, it looks like a success to me!

    Thanks so much for taking part in the science fair!

  4. I need to try this with my boys! Yes, many of my experiments don't work, but my oldest loves to keep trying them.


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