Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Science Experiment 001: Grow a Stalactite

Stalactites are long rock columns that grow from the roof of a cave and hang down. Stalagmites look the same as Stalactites, but grow from the floor of a cave and grow upward. When they meet, they form a column. They are made from deposits of mineral calcium carbonate in water that drips into the cave.

To remember the difference between the two, think about this: Stalactites hold tight (tite) to the roof of the cave, and stalagmites might (mite) reach the roof.


What we needed:
2 glass jars, baking soda, spoon, string, pegs, water, and a saucer.

What we did:

1. First we filled the two jars with HOT water.
2 & 3. then we put baking soda in the jars, and mixed it until it dissolved.
4. then we put the string with the pegs TIED on to it in the jars.
5. after that we put a saucer between the jars to catch the drips.
6. Then we left it for 2 weeks

In a few months our stalagmite and stalactite will join to make a column.

My mum found out that it was good paint remover too!

My rating on this experiment:

I loved it!!!!!!!!

You can find lots of other cool things in caves, like cave pearls and cave straws.

43 comments:

onscreen said...

I wonder if it would be any good for stripping paint from badly painted metal minatures?

Hope said...

Yes, I think it might - baking soda is good for any kind of cleaning

melissa said...

Nice post Hope.

Baking soda is also good for cleaning teeth - though I wouldn't recommend it 'cause it tastes disgusting!

Liz said...

That sounds like a really good experiment Hope, I might have to use it with my class one day.

Kidsguide will hopefully be up at the end of the month, so if you feel like doing any more film reviews we'd love to have them! If there's any particular dvd you want to review, ask your dad and we'll send it to you :)

Jacob said...

Interesting post there Hope. Are you guys keeping this experiment going for quite a while? Does it require any more work or attention or can you just leave it and observe when you want to?

There is a cave out on some farmland/forest South of Port Waikato (about 1.5hrs drive SouthWest of Auckland) which takes about 1.5-2hrs to walk through if you wander and explore. About 2/3 way through the cave there is this massive stalactite/stalagmite column. It looks like an incredibly thick, gnarled old tree stump made of marble that goes right from the floor of the cave to the roof. Very cool. I was really surprised that we had some caves like this so close. A few glow-worms too. Maybe you will see it one day.

Jacob.

Hope said...

Mellisa,

I know what you mean. it does taste discusting!

Hope said...

Cool Jacob!

Anonymous said...

this stinks so much!!! it takes WAY too long to grow!!!
:(
:[
:{

Phoenixia said...

Geez, man! It says "two weeks". What part of that do you not understand?

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