Scientists have long thought that massive planets like Neptune and Uranus which contain relatively tiny rocky cores covered with a mantle of slurried water, ammonia, and methane ices and surrounded by a thick atmosphere—are subject to rain made with literal diamonds.
Now researchers have synthesized the process in a lab, showing how such conditions might occur. Their results support this idea.
To recreate this process in our class, we created our very own Neptune s with glass beads and play dough. In our classroom, we love to play with play dough because it has so many developmental benefits!
For one, improves fine motor skills as students manipulate the dough. Secondly, it encourages divergent thinking as students build their own creations. Lastly, it builds creativity, as students use their imaginations!
Dark, cold and whipped by supersonic winds, ice giant Neptune is the eighth and most distant planet in our solar system.
More than 30 times as far from the Sun as Earth, Neptune is the only planet in our solar system not visible to the naked eye. Neptune’s atmosphere is made from about 80 percent hydrogen and 19 percent helium.
It also contains a small amount water and methane, which give rise to the green-bluish color. The dark blue and bright white features of the atmosphere help distinguish Neptune from Uranus.
The thin cirrus-like white clouds contain methane ice. When hydrocarbon snowflakes form in Neptune’s atmosphere they melt before reaching the surface because of the high pressure. The fastest winds in the Solar System blow on Neptune.
With speeds of about 1,240 mph, they are five times faster than the strongest winds on Earth! To help your little ones understand the vast gases of Neptune, we created our very own!
Using baking soda and lotion as our play dough, we constructed spheres that resembled the planet. We then used eye droppers to add vinegar to the dough, laughing as we watched.
Hands-on learning is an integral component in early childhood education. The manipulation and experimenting of materials provide a reference of learned concepts, and enables young children to construct meaningful experiences that aid their ability to commit new information to memory. For this activity, your little one learned about how rockets are built. To help them connect with this idea, they created rockets out of blocks covered in aluminum foil.
For young children, the magic of learning occurs in the relationship between cause and effect. Some of the best preschool activities are science related. This occurs because preschool children are inquisitive and open-minded, perfect traits for budding young scientists!
This is a lot of fun for them because young children are truly mesmerized by chemical reactions, love exploring nature, and jump to build things. During our week of rockets, we learned all about rocket fuel.
We talked about how rockets are able to be lifted and how this happens because of planned explosions that occur within the engine.
To demonstrate this, we created chemical reactions out of bath bombs. We first placed a rocket inside a bowl and surrounded it with the crystals of the “bombs.” We then added water and watched as the material fizzled and sizzled before our very eyes! In some cases, the reaction was so strong that it knocked the rocket over!