When I was surfing for ideas to tie together a theme with Ivan's inquiry about whether dinosaurs or eggs came first, I was stoked to find egg geodes. This is such a beautiful way to wrap up the unit and had great potential. Ivan loves gemstones, patterns, mixing colors and doing experiments.
We started by prepping the eggs; gently tapping loose an end to empty the shell & rinse it out. We ended up getting some really stubborn eggs. It took us over half an hour to scrape the membranes loose from the shell with many breaking up too much to use.
While I finished up prepping the shells, Ivan got busy concocting the colors he wanted to use. We happened to have regular food dye and neon colors so he came up with some cool combos; apricot & mint green, raspberry & orange sunset and dusty rose & turquoise. He mixed the colors in separate bowls so we could then add in the water and salt mediums. We used sea salt, rock salt and borax. With the 3 color/salt combos, we poured 2 shells of each type.
We watched the shells morph over 7 days. As the days passed, the crystallization progressed with all shells. Water evaporation went much slower with the borax shells. As the salt passed through the shells to crystallize on the outside, the colors also passed through. We were surprised to see that the color combos actually separated. By the third day, the sea salt & rock salt shells water was pretty much gone. The borax shell had water in it until day 6. Even though the water seemed to be gone, the crystallization continued on the sea salt & rock salt. At first, we were bummed to not see much happening with the borax shells.
This is our beginning picture of the shells filled with dyed salt waters.
We checked on the shells after a couple hours and were really surprised to see some crystallization already happening with the sea salt ones. You can see the colors separating already.
After 2 hours, the rock salt & borax eggs hadn't changed.
Look at all those crystals on day 6!
More awesome crystals mostly around the edge and in different spots.
Hardly any crystals - ho hum...
Geodes cracked open for better look. Striped colors amazed us!
More beauty with colors morphing. Very little apricot showing & where'd that purple come from?
While seemingly ho-hum from the outside, cracking open the borax proved to be worth the wait. So gorgeous and most like a real geode.
As Ivan so aptly noted, just goes to prove that you can't judge a book by it's cover. And first impressions can be wrong. And the best - there can be more to the "story" than what we can see or understand unless we take the time to dig deeper. I know, right! How freaking awesome is it that he's tied all this life stuff together. I couldn't have dreamed how beautifully this unit would pull together or the scope of learning that would happen.