Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Crystal Star

We did a project over the weekend, that I didn't get a chance to post on at the time, so it is a catch up post.  I read about a crystal star you could make out of Borax, which I had only heard about briefly sometime in my past.  Turns out it used to be the leading laundry booster...hmm, things you learn.  Anyway, you make a star (or whatever shape - we might redo this one with a snowflake next week) out of a pipe cleaner.  

I found it easiest to fold the pipe cleaner in to equal parts then shape into a star.  And finally cut off the extra.  So I guess in order to avoid having to cut off extra, you could make 10 equal folds...but then it would be really big.

Tie a string.  I think we were supposed to use twine or something, but I had yarn more readily available.  You will see what happened later, and why we were supposed to use a less porous string.  
 Hang it from something to allow it to dangle in the water. 
Boil the water, and add Borax until it is over saturated (more than the water can dissolve - see how it is cloudy?).

 Add food coloring if desired, although I would recommend this only if you are using a white pipe cleaner!  Ours was not that noticeable.
Leave for several hours or overnight.  We did it at 2 and by dinner the crystals had formed.  But we went ahead and left it over night, not much more happened, but still pretty none-the-less.
 The proud scientist. 
Me, trying to show you how it sparkles.  The pictures really don't do it justice.  These would make great ornaments for next year.  In fact, I may just put mine in the ornament box.  Beware gift recipients...

No comments: