Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of the human being’s desire to understand.
~ Neil Armstrong
Phew! We KNOW what you are THINKING! FINALLY … a NEW post! It’s just that we’ve been very, VERY busy. Thank you for your patience … you are NOT going to be SORRY for the wait … we KNOW you’re going to enjoy THIS learning adventure! Are you COZY? It’s going to be a LONG one!!!
We’ve been exploring Rocks and Minerals in Science. Lately, we’ve been CRAZY about GEODES! A few of us have been bringing in some of our treasures to share with everyone. A few geodes came in. Some of them held the most AMAZING tiny little crystals. Others were COMPLETE solid. A FEW of them looked like they were actually DYED! WHAT?!? Well … you know how THAT goes … and THEN we BEGAN to wonder!!!
How are geodes FORMED? How LONG does it take? Where do you FIND them? Can you REALLY dye them? Well … if you can DYE them … can you make FAKE geodes? Welcome to our AMAZING journey of WONDER! We’ve discovered some pretty AMAZING things about geodes! Did you know that geodes take millions of YEARS to form? Yup. It’s TRUE! And … people even DYE geodes so they look BRIGHTER!
You can definitely tell when a geode has been dyed because the dye kind of “bleeds” onto the outside of the rock.
We were AMAZED to discover that geodes take MILLIONS of years to form. Even Mrs. RENTON didn’t know how geodes were formed. We ALL learned something pretty cool when we found out that they can even be formed in old abandoned animal burrows!!! It’s TRUE … but … it sure doesn’t happen over night! Our quest continued. If you can DYE geodes … can you make a FAKE geode? Surprisingly, the ANSWER is YES!
With some AMAZING help from volunteers like the FABULOUS Mr. B., we began to create our OWN geodes!
We needed VERY specific materials to do this:
- washed, dried, “seeded” eggshells (some of us chose to do “snowflakes” instead … they are JUST as beautiful)
- boiling water
- borax (only do this with an adult because borax is a chemical … you want to wash your hands after handling it)
- dye (the kind you use for clothes … food colouring isn’t strong enough)
- a well washed VERY clean “big-mouthed jar (not too big otherwise it will use too much borax)
- patience (because it takes at LEAST 24 hours for good-sized crystals to form)
Some of us decided to do “snowflakes” instead. That meant we needed to cut a pipe cleaner into three equal pieces then suspend it from string into our jars.
What follows are our reflections:
“First step: you put hot water in your jar. Second step: put borax in then stir the borax. Third step: put in a colour. Fourth step: stir the colour that you picked. Fifth step: leave it until it has tons of crystals on it.” ~Adam
“I love how my geode looks like a tiny city the way it sparkles. It looks totally natural. We made them with this borax, hot water, glass jars, and shirt dye. I wonder why they get so shiny.” ~Shaye
“My geode is really cool, in my opinion! I hope I can make a snowflake at home. I hope I remember what to do! I THINK here’s what to do for the geode: take a no yolk egg. Wash it out very good. Take a jar … a CLEAN jar and put boiling water in it. Put borax in the egg. Then, put clothing dye in the jar. Mix VERY good. I wonder how the borax and the boiling water makes stars?” ~Faith
The clothing dye creates much richer, more vibrant colours than food colouring.
“I picked blue because my birthstone is aquamarine and aquamarine is blue. How we made the crystals on the geodes? It looked so cool! It looks really, really real! Plus, we are going to put sand on them and it will look even more realistic! Mr. B. helped us put 3 tablespoons of borax and 1 cup of hot water. Then, we mixed the borax until it’s see-through. I wonder if I can make my name out of borax, hot water and pipe cleaners?” ~Haya
“I loved the sparking obsidian-looking dark purple crystals shining inside of the fake geode. The light caught the purple crystals, making them sparkle. We made them with borax to make the crystals! Some of the ingredients included: borax, boiling water, shirt dye, eggshells and a jar. My Grandpa came in to help us and he was incredible because he helped us measure the cups of borax and measure the water to pour. I wonder what ELSE borax is for.” ~Marcus
“I dyed mine green but it turned out kinda blackish! We made them with borax and hot water in a glass jar. My snowflake is a bit skinnier than all the others but I like that really much. I wonder why it turned out black.” ~Liam
We had jars of borax EVERYWHERE! It was SO exciting but it was VERY hard to be patient!
“Our materials: borax, egg shell, hot water, glue, spoon. First, we poured a half cut of hot water. Not a moment too soon … we put three tablespoons of borax in the water. After that we stirred and stirred and stirred until it was clear. Finally, we put a paper white eggshell with borax inside the boiling hot water. And the challenge began. Every morning since, I dashed to the break-out room window. It felt like MONTHS had past. Until now we got a glimpse at everybody’s. They scientifically looked life like. I wonder how tall was the biggest geode?” ~Riley
“My geode is so shiny from the inside. It’s crystally from the outside. It is beautiful. I wonder why we have to use hot water.” ~Alvin
“How you make geodes. Step one: take borax and then pour it into a cup of boiling hot water. Step two: put the eggshell in the water. Make sure that the eggshell fits in the jar. Then you add shirt dye into it. Right after that you stir with a spoon until you see no cloud in it. You wait and wait and wait until you see crystals and … you’re done! I wonder if you have to use the borax to make the crystals.” ~Anita
“This is how we made our geodes. Step 1: first we pour really hot water into the jar. Step 2: then we put 3 spoons of borax in. Then you mix it until it is clear. Step 3: then you put in the clothing dye. After you stir up the dye. You slowly place the egg into the jar. then wait 15 hours. Check your crystals. If there are crystals, lots of them, then pull it out with a spoon. If there are not crystals then try putting them in for a bit longer. They look very cool and shiny. The blue crystals turned out REALLY beautiful. I chose red like rubies because I like how they’re all red and shiny. I wonder if every rock can make a geode.” ~Carter
Ooh! They’re SO beautiful … but … they are NOT finished yet. This is our FIRST peek!
“My geode is SO pretty. It has, well, a MILLION cazillion crystals. That’s what I think when I look on it. One side shimmers. Inside it’s a little dark but you can still see. I wonder what would happen if I put borax and mixed but not until it was clear.” ~Marah
“I wonder how the borax mixed in with the clothing dye. I did not think that it would turn out spectacularly like it did. I wonder how crystals formed because whenever I make crystals I need to use epsom salt. My brain wonders how and why crystals grow on a pipe cleaner because I think that that is really CRAZY! The materials we used for great snowflakes are: clothing dye, boiling water, pipe cleaners, wool, glass jar and a marker. The snowflake looks like there are reflections on it. If you look closely you can see a little bit of the white pipe cleaner I used. This is probably one of the most beautiful things I have ever made in my life before.” ~Colby
Ahh! My EYES! The geode is so shiny! It looks so spectacular. I wonder if I put it in water again if it would grow a lot bigger. I wonder if I put in dye again it would turn rainbow too. It is glowing so much. I wonder if I could fake sell it for lots of money. I want to do it at home so badly! All you do to make them is get boiling water and put borax in it and then mix it up until it’s not cloudy anymore and then put the dye in. Put the egg shell in next. Wait a day or two. And, then take it out and you have a geode. But, that’s not it. You still need to let it dry. after, put glue all around the outside than then dip it in sand and let it dry and that’s it. That’s how to make a geode. Now, all you need to do is have fun with your geodes.” ~William
Ohh! ANOTHER sneak peek! We can’t WAIT to put the finishing touches on!
“I’m really proud I made a snowflake. It’s really cool but I am not bragging. I chose royal blue because that’s my birthstone colour: sapphire. And, it’s my favourite colour. Did you know that sapphire is the strongest mineral? I wonder what is the next strongest mineral? I also want to say that the geodes were extremely cool too. It’s cool how minerals can form. Mr. B is rally good with kids like us! I wonder if he is coming back soon?” ~Sofie
“At first, we started making the geodes and we thought it would take one day for the crystals to form. But, it actually took two days for the crystals to form. We needed a clean glass jar, a clean egg shell, borax, boiling hot water, and red, purple,, green or blue dye to make the geodes. When I was mixing the borax, boiling hot water and dye I saw the dye getting darker. I wonder how many days it would take to make a bigger geode. My geode was purple because I thought it was the original geode colour. My geode has a lot of very shiny crystals. Did you know that these are fake geodes? Real ones are up to 1000 years old.” ~Robert
“Did you know that you could make a FAKE geode? This is what you need: borax, a clean jar, a clean egg.” ~Olivia
“So, how I created my geode. You buy borax and use hot water. And, if you want colour, you buy dye. To get colour you pour the water on then you put the borax and then you stir it up and then you put the dye in if you want. And, then you stir it up. Oh ya. You have to clean the egg and put it in the jar. And then you wait two days. I wonder if geodes can change.” ~Thomas
Yup … SUCH an exciting journey!
“Here is what I can’t believe. When you look VERY closely with a magnifying glass, the inside looks ladies and gentlemen BLACK! I can’t believe that it looks black. I mean … that’s INSANE! I wonder if it would work with tide laundry powder. Most of the class, including me, think blue and red look the best. WOW. You can kind of stare on the inside of the geode … I think it looks exquisite! Thomas thinks his geode got disturbed. I hope not.” ~Mani
“The coolest thing was making them. First you had to put hot water. Next you get a paper.” ~Saadia
“Yay! My very first look at a geode. I think I am proud of my work because it is cool and I worked hard to get it to shape. I can’t wait to bring it home when my mom and dad’s face see it they’re gonna be proud of me. I just know it. I wonder if I could do the experiment at home but first I need to get the materials so I can do it. Or, I can make a snowflake. I wonder if this will work at home. I don’t know.” ~Luisa
“I made a snowflake. wow! So how I made this snowflake: you need borax and hot water and coloured dye and the last thing is a jar. So you are going to pour hot water in the jar. Then you are going to put borax in the jar. Then you are going to get a spoon and stir it all up. I wonder if you can do it without borax.” ~Prayers
We’re all feeling very, VERY proud of our creations!
“My geode is a clear purple with a touch of sparkles. When you feel the inside of it it feels like a real crystal! I wonder if when you break the eggshell open will the inside of the eggshell be white? Is the dye that strong? I don’t want to break mine but I’m still curious. We used the following: borax, clothing dye and finally an eggshell washed very carefully.” ~Aleah
“On my way to school today I was thinking about my fake geode. it would be AWESOME! After lunch my teacher handed out our geodes. Mine has a little crack but it is still awesome! first, the crystals looked a little blackish. Then, it turned into dark green. And the shell was blue! Silly, don’t you think? There’s a small piece that fell out of it. I am very gentle to it because it is very delicate. The shell was an eggshell. And, the crystals formed by borax. The green was very good and the colour was made from dye. I wonder how the borax changes into crystals. I wonder what happens if you don’t put dye in it.” ~Bryan
“I’m glad I didn’t make a geode! These snowflakes are uncanny! I took a magnifying glass and took a really good look at it and I could see the crystals glistening in the sun. It’s made with: borax, clothing dye, a jar, hot water, pipe cleaners and a ruler. What you do with the ruler is: you measure the pipe cleaner up to the ruler, and then get some scissors.” ~Oliver (to be finished tomorrow).
“” ~Roxanne (to be finished tomorrow).
You’d THINK that would be the END of the “fake geode” adventure … but … it’s NOT! We had a LOVELY volunteer come in to help us glue SAND to the OUTSIDE of each of our geodes … to make them look even MORE realistic. We don’t quite know WHAT happened … because we didn’t get a SINGLE picture of Mrs. D. working with us to help us put the sand on and make special little BOXES to keep them in! It’s STRANGE because Mrs. Renton is camera CRAZY. We wonder if the fire drill in the middle of the afternoon put her off her groove?!!? We had SO much fun working with Mrs. D. and the boxes will keep our geodes and snowflakes SAFE!
WAIT! The learning STILL isn’t over!!! Ugh … who thought MATH would creep into this?!? Ahh, yes possums … math creeps into ALL aspects of life! Are you ready for ANOTHER adventure?!?
Cotton Ball Math
This was a TOUGH challenge! WOULD there be ENOUGH cotton balls in Mrs. Renton’s old bag of cotton balls? Or would she need to buy some more? Hmm. Off to work!
Luckily, we discovered that we DIDN’T need to send Mrs. Renton out for MORE cotton balls. There would be TEN left over in the bag! Phew! THAT was CLOSE! What’s AMAZING, though, is how DIFFERENTLY we all worked through this problem. We SHARED some of our thinking with one another and learned a LOT about the different ways you can work through problems. Check THESE possibilities out:
All in all, this was an AMAZING learning journey! Just LOOK at how gorgeous our treasures are:
The boxes and the cotton balls COMPLETE the process!
There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.
~ Walt Streightiff
Thank you to Mr. B. and Mrs. D. for helping us to “fake” our OWN geodes … and special snowflakes! You ROCK!
The world will never starve for want of wonders, but only for want of wonder.
~ G.K. Chesterton