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Behind the Scenes on Chapter 10

31 Aug

The snowflakes we made after Chapter 10 came out looking so cool! Some were traditional looking snowflakes, and others were crystallized letters, flowers and flakes with jet packs.

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They are pretty easy to make. I saw a couple blogs that explained it, this one is easy to follow:

http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/boraxsnowflake.htm

Basically you just add borax to hot water until it is saturated. When Fin and I tried it before Charlie Club, we measured out 3 tablespoons per cup of water for his. When I made mine, I eyeballed how much Borax we had used, and added more to be safe. The next morning, mine was a little more ready than his. They ended up the same, but I took mine out of the saturation a couple hours before he did.

Easy peasy! So, here we are – 12 kids, busy and all clamoring to do the next step for their pipe cleaners. The plan was have the kids do as much as I can.  I start with Jonah and Layla and ask them to measure out some borax.  About as much as Fin and I had measured, and added a bit more.  Then I poured some hot water into a container. Unfortunately, when Jonah poured the Borax he had measured into the water, it splashed up. OUCH!

Now I am panicked! Is this a good idea? So I try it some more, and have Tyler measure out his Borax, but the whole thing, using a cleaning agent (Borax) + boiling water + SO MANY kids = just as well I am related to some lawyers. Add to this, in the background, 12 kids who are probably directionless and destructive (but were actually just happy playing). I pretend I don’t see them. I threw out some fake snow, and the fake snow threw itself all over the place. I just leave Tara and Leah to watch them. Tara assures me everything is great.

So I just start mixing in what must be a TON of borax in the containers, Leah helps me line up all the snowflakes so they aren’t touching.

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It looks fine, and here is a bonus: no one is crying!  Tara corrals all the kids and we go outside for some treats.

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Friday morning. A new day. Can’t wait to see those crystallized snowflakes.

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Hmmmm… not a crystal in sight. Maybe it needs a bit more time. We go out, have our day, we get home.

Tyler's snowflake

Hmmmm…. not much progress.

We are planning to drive to CT for Labor day weekend. When I get back will it change? Will they crystallize too much?  Look like they belong in the mineral room at the Natural History Museum?

borax.jpg

I am not sure what to do.  After we decide to leave for CT Saturday morning instead of Friday night I decide to just reheat the water and add more Borax. That’s when I realized there was 3-8 times more water in these containers than in my original test before club.  Whoops. I didn’t think about measuring the WATER.  D’Oh!  I am happy for a chance to start over, this time measuring the water and adding so much Borax that a late night trip to Target is in order for more.

And the next morning, before we leave for CT, they look perfect!

Snowflakes!

Overnight(s) transformation!

I am not sure why I am publishing this post. I felt pretty lucky it came out alright in the end. I guess I can’t get over that luck. Or I can’t get over it didn’t go exactly as planned in the first place.

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Posted by on August 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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