Sunday, March 23, 2014

Float an Orange - Learn About Bouyancy (and Hope!)

What floats?
The other day at an informal homeschool co-op I initiated, another mom led a buoyancy experiment.  It reminded me that I had yet to finish a post that I had begun writing a while back.  Today, I have decided to finally share that post with a little faith twist:

As part of our Our Lady of Altagracia day celebrations earlier this year, my husband, children and I used our post-dinner family time to do an easy buoyancy experiment.  What fun it was!

Will a peeled orange sink or float?

And what further questioning and experimentation it brought on!

We Wondered...

Would an unpeeled orange sink or float?

How about a peeled one?

How about a clementine?

How about a half-peeled orange?

And skins?

And other fruits?

And our clementine candles?

We Discovered... 

Oranges and clementines tend to float if they have their skins on. 

The skins of clementines, when hollowed out like boats, or even just peeled, do, too.

However, peeled oranges and clementines tend to sink.

Other fruits and peels float or sink depending on their density.

Luke's Notes

Our theory (confirmed by online searches) is that the surface of orange and clementine skins contain many tiny pits that collect air.  These mini pockets of air act a bit like a life preserver for the fruit, keeping it afloat.  When the peel is removed, the inside of the fruit becomes denser than the water and, thus, sinks.

Orange and clementine skins alone, much like boats and other objects that float, hold air in a sort of cupped shape.

Other fruits have varying densities which cause them to sink or float.

So What's the Faith Connection?

Delighted That It Floats
Why hope floats, of course.

Much like an orange or clementine peel acts like a life preserver that keeps the fruit afloat when it gets tossed in water, when we wrap ourselves in God's love, we can stay afloat no matter what we are immersed in.

Through sorrows, like the ones my family has been facing since my niece passed away... On juicy, good days when all is sweet...  No matter if there is rain or sunshine, wrapping ourselves in faith can keep us afloat.  

Grab Some Citrus Fruit and Teach Your Kids an Object Lesson

What happens when we remember to pray, hope, trust, have faith and love?  Just like an unpeeled orange or clementine, we can float along on placid waters and ride out threatening tides.

What happens when we shed our faith and try to float on our own?  Sometimes we sink.

Undoubtedly, this past week and a half have reminded my children how powerful our own prayers, and those others have been wrapping our family in, are.  It has also magnified for us the need to maintain faith and hope.

God is good.  Accepting and sharing his love bring fruit.  Fruit that floats...

If you have a specific intention you'd like us to cover you in prayer about, just let us know!  Also, please feel free to share other ideas about helping young children understand and grow in faith here in a comment or on our Training Happy Hearts Facebook page.  If you leave a link to an idea, I will pin it on the Training Happy Hearts: A Call to Faith Formation in Young Children Pinterest board.


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