Science made fun at SCRF 2021: Children explore the workings of density and mass

Sharjah, May 28, 2021

Blending science with aesthetics, children gained a deeper understanding of density and mass as they created their very own mini-ocean inside a glass jar at the ‘Ocean Layers’ workshop held at the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF). 

“Here, children learn how the density of heavy substances have a stronger gravitational pull through an easy ocean experiment, while learning the names of all the layers of the ocean,” said Sarah Mezher, who was facilitating the workshop. 

“What is most interesting is that children are always surprised to learn that the ocean is actually made up layers!” she added laughing.

During the hands-on session, children constructed layers of the ocean using basic materials that can be easily found at home. Mixing dark blue food colouring with honey, they created the bottom-most layer, the ‘Trench Zone’. Dish soap is then poured on top to create the ‘Abyss Zone’ owing to its lighter density than honey. 

Then, children move on to constructing the ocean’s ‘Midnight Zone’ by mixing water and a vibrant blue food colouring. For the ‘Twilight Zone,’ Mezher instructs the young participants to use oil, and it floats up on the surface of the water. Finally, to make ‘Sunlight Zone’, the top-most layer of the ocean, kids  use rubbing alcohol – the lightest of the five substances in the jar.

Colourful, fun and simple, the workshop ignites the curiosity of children by teaching them the science of density. “When they are introduced to unconventional ways of understanding science – like this ocean layer experiment – it becomes easier for them to grasp key concepts that they not only memorise but also feel confident about applying,” Mezher opined.

At the end of the workshop, children close their jars with a golden lid, symbolic of the sun, stick a sweet seashell on top and take their very own ocean back home with them.

This is the final weekend of SCRF 2021. Lots of interesting workshops, shows, and literary discussions will continue in Expo Centre Sharjah, alongside an exhaustive showcase of books by 172 publishers.

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