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Montessori's History of Creation Physics Experiments Part Two

Montessori physics experiments, also called the History of Creation Experiments: "experiments relating to matter from which the child can abstract the makings of our earth, solar systems and galaxies in general."

The physics experiments are key, concrete, sensorial experiences for the "Cosmic Tale: God Who Has No Hands" tale. They also go hand-in-hand with the Impressionistic Geography Charts, which familiarize the child with the physical properties of our planet: one set is called "The Formation of the Earth and Insulation" and the other is called "The Work of Air and Water."

Below are the next seven experiments (out of twenty), from my Montessori 6-9 training album (and from which above was a partial excerpt).

Physics Experiments Part two 8-14

Each experiment is written on an index card and numbered for child to choose and repeat, with an adult if necessary. A notebook should be kept by the child for writing down her observations.

8. Subject: Mixture

Materials: some iron filings, some sand, a plate, a magnet, a handkerchief.

Command: Take the iron-filings and the sand, mix them on a plate. Then wrap a magnet in the handkerchief and bring it near the plate.

What happens? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement:. There are certain substances we mix but do not combine and therefore can be separated: these are called: mixtures.

9. Subject: Chemical combination of GAS.

Materials: Ammonia, hydrochloric acid, a glass, a plate.

Command: Moisten the bottom of a glass with a drop of ammonia, turn over the glass on a plate that is wet with hydrochloric acid.

What happens? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement: A new gas has formed called ammonia chloride, due to the combination of ammonia and hydrochloric acid.

10. Subject: Crystallization.

Materials: A little bit of copper sulfate water in a little jug, test tube, a spirit lamp or a gas-burner, a silk or nylon thread, some matches.

Command: In the test tube put some little bits of copper sulfate and some water. Light the fire. Put the test tube on the fire moving it until it forms a saturated solution. While it is still boiling, put in a tiny piece
or copper sulfate tied to a thread. Let the solution get cold until the next day, take out what you have put in.

What has happened? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement: Some matter in passing from the fluid to the solid state has the property of crystallizing itself.

11. Subject: Chemical reaction.

Materials: Sugar, gloves, sulfuric acid (be very careful with the sulfuric acid, it burns everything, even the skin!), a glass.

Command: Put some sugar in a glass until it is 3/4 full. Pour enough sulfuric acid so that it reaches about half the height of the sugar. Stir with a glass rod. The mixture must become black. Be very careful
with the sulfuric acid, it burns everything, even the skin! Be careful also in holding the glass.

What do you observe? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement: A chemical reaction has taken place; a near substance has been formed which did not exist before: it is carbon.

12. Subject: Precipitation.

Materials: Potassium bichromate, lead nitrate, water in a little jug, a test tube, a little spoon.

Command: Take the test tube, pour in it a pinch of potassium bichromate and a little water. Stir it until it dissolves; then add some drops of lead nitrate.

What do you observe? If you like, write down your observations.

Statement: There are certain liquid substances which combine with others to form a near substance and they are called: precipitation.

13. Subject: Properties of solids, liquid and gas.

Materials: A little piece of glass, a little piece of wood, some receptacles of glass in different shapes, a small bottle of ammonia, some water in a small jug.


a. Take the piece of glass, and the piece of wood and observe its form.

b. Take the receptacles of different shapes, pour some water in them. Go on pouring some water in one of them until it overflows.

c. Open the bottle of ammonia and leave it open for a moment.

What do you observe? If you want, you can write down your remarks.

Statement: The solids have a shape of their own; the liquids take the shape of the vessel that contains them, and when overflowing they go in all directions except upwards. The gases have no shape, they have
the tendency to occupy the maximum space, and they expand in all directions even upwards.

14. Subject: Elastic, plastic, rigid.

Materials: A piece of marble, or stone, or brick, a rubber ball, some plasticene.

Command: Take the piece of marble, the rubber ball and the plasticene. Using the hand apply some pressure on each of them successively. Apply the terms: plastic, rigid, elastic.

What have you observed? If you want, you can write down your observations.

Statement: Matter which when put under normal pressure does not change the form, is called "rigid." Matter which when put under normal pressure changes form, but once the pressure is taken away, takes
back its original form, is celled "elastic." Matter which when put under normal pressure changes its form and once the pressure is taken away, does not take back its original form, is called "plastic."

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