Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Cucumber Osmosis

We have been continuing on with our free OU course - Understanding Experiments. This time we were exploring osmosis. We used some slices of cucumber. First we weighed them and then put one piece into distilled water and the other into salt water. We left them for a while to see what would happen.

The cucumber in the salt water lost weight (by losing water through osmosis) whilst the cucumber in distilled water gained weight (by absorbing water).

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Potato Experiment

This week the children have joined a free on-line science course from FutureLearn. Basic Science - Understanding Experiments has just started and you can still join in.

We wanted to find out how much water is in a potato. We microwaved the potatoes in one minute intervals and plotted their weights on a graph.

Our potatoes lost 108g of water, we used scales to find out what this amount looked like.

R used a sweet potato and L used an ordinary potato. We didn't quite get to the point where all the water was driven off. R's sweet potato lost 60% of it's volume in water and L's potato lost 53%. We would expect the potatoes to lose more water if we ran the experiment longer; they were still a little juicy.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Canberra September 2014

This weekend I attended a well deserved art retreat in Canberra. Whilst I was having fun Dad took the children out for the day. R also celebrated his 8th birthday.

First up was Questacon - the national science museum.

Keeping with the science theme they next visited the CSIRO discovery centre.

That evening was R's birthday meal out.

The following day they went to Tidbinbilla nature reserve and were lucky enough to spot 3 platypus in the wild.

The last day was spent at the Australian National Botanic Garden.

Friday, 5 September 2014


The children and I have been volunteering once a month for bushcare. We have been removing weeds and non-native species to regenerate the bush and encourage wildlife. Last month we set up a motion sensing, infra red, wildlife camera. Here are some of the images it caught, most of them starring "stripy" the swamp wallaby.  Thanks to Peter for setting this up for us.

Brushtail Possum

Non-native fox with a rabbit in it's jaws

Fallow deer (introduced species)


L is still into fashion designs. She has been using fabric, paper and sparkles on these latest outfits.

Our New (expensive) Toy

We just upgraded our tents for this Jayco camper trailer, a positive effect of redundancy! We'll be off to road test it soon.