Andrea said, "I happened upon this pin a few months back and thought it might be a fun summer science project to do with my 2 boys (they have to come up with and make a science project every year)."
The Original Pin
"The directions looked pretty simple, but the comments below the article led me believe that this probably wouldn't work. And I usually don't even bother trying stuff that looks like it might not work because, frankly, I don't have the time or money to waste. I had decided that perhaps we should try something different, but my older son really wanted to try this. I gave in, but before starting I warned him that the "geodes" probably wouldn't turn out as nice as the ones in the photo, and in fact, we might get nothing at all."
"We followed the instructions, but the only kind of alum powder that I was able to get was the kind sold at grocery stores. I saw at the bottom of the website that the author insists that you have to use Potassium Aluminum Sulfate and that you have to special order it. However, I live in Japan and that's simple not an option, so we had to make due with what was available."
"The directions say to leave the eggshells in the liquid solution for 12 to 15 hours for perfect geodes; however, after 15 hours nothing had happened. After one day nothing had happened. After 3 days nothing had happened. We ended up leaving our eggshells in the solution for over 2 weeks, basically until all the liquid had completely dried up. We did get crystals, but they were really small, and we only got relatively decent crystals in 3 of the 11 shells. But 3 is enough to turn in for the science project."
The idea of growing your own crystals captivates many kids. I know it captivated me. Want a "grow your own crystals" project that doesn't take off-the-wall ingredients? Try this one:
*1 cup water
*2 cups sugar
*Flavorings and food coloring as desired
A jar (a quart canning jar works awesome)
either -A pencil and some thick thread
-or a skewer and two pencils or clothes pins
-Tie the thread to the center of the pencil and dangle the thread into the jar. Roll the thread up on the pencil until the thread is about a finger's width above the bottom. If you are using a skewer, stand it in the jar and use the clothespins or the two pencils to keep it standing upright in the center.
-In a saucepan, boil the water and then add the sugar. Stir until completely dissolved. Add any flavoring or food coloring at this point. Remove from heat and let it cool for just a few minutes.
-Carefully pour the sugar water into the jar.
-Place the jar somewhere where it will not be disturbed for about 2 weeks.
-Sugar crystals should be visible on the string/stick within 24 hours (if not, pour your syrup back in a pot, add another 1/2 c. to cup of sugar and reboil.
-Let the sugar crystals form as long as you want and now you have rock candy! Kid's will love watching the crystals grow, especially if they get to eat it in the end.
Cameron and I made rock candy for all our siblings one year for Christmas when we were super broke and we even got a kick out of watching the crystals grow. It's fun! Give it a try!
*Added note...this is basically my pancake syrup recipe, only I don't let it form crystals. 1 c. water, 2 c. sugar, 1 cap of mapeline, and 1/2-1 tsp of vanilla flavoring. This is my favorite syrup!