Africa is rich in natural resources and Angola is no different. Angola is the second largest producer of oil in sub-saharan Africa and 75% comes from off-shore rigs. The exportation of oil is vital to Angola’s economy with over 60% of it going to China alone as well as portions going to India, Thailand and France.
Teaching what oil is and how we get it can be tricky for young learners. If your child is older you can easily dive into what oil is (decayed bits of plants and animals) and how we get it it (pumping it up from the ground or sea floor) and what it is used for (everything from plastic production to cars). For Martin, this was too much so instead we did a science experiment with water and oil.
Lava Lamp Experiment
You will need….
- Cooking Oil
- Food Coloring (optional)
- Alka Seltzer tabs
Fill the jar 1/3 full with water and add a few drops of food coloring.
Fill the jar the rest of the way up to the top with cooking oil
Break an alka seltzer tab into 4 pieces and drop one piece into the jar.
Watch it bubble and then repeat with another alka seltzer tab or half or be brave and try a whole one!
Diamonds are another important though not as lucrative natural resource in Angola. Only 40% of the country’s diamond rich territory has been explored. While the exportation of gas is vital to Angola they have had a difficult time finding forgien investers for their diamonds due to corruption, smuggling and human rights violations.
We attempted to make diamonds before in Botswana, those were edible but these are not. However, these are safe and non-toxic unlike crystals made from Borax. These crystals use vinegar, salt and evaporation to form.
You will need….
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- food coloring (optional)
- piece of sponge
- shallow dish/ small Tupperware
Start by boiling the water in a small sauce pan, remove from the heat and stir in the salt and vinegar. Stir till the salt is dissolved.
Place the sponge in the shallow dish/ Tupperware- if you want colored crystals dot the sponge with food coloring. Carefully pour the hot mixture over the sponge, allow it to soak up the liquid and then add more so that it almost covers the bottom of the dish.
Save any left over crystal solution in a sealed jar.
Place the dish is a sunny spot or warm place with good circulation. The crystals should start forming in a day or overnight. Keep an eye on it and once the sponge has soaked up all the liquid add more till you’ve used up the reserve.
You can continue to grow the crystals for as long as you’d like. The best part is this isn’t toxic so you can throw the sponge out as well as any left over solution and wash the jar and dish as normal.
This is what our sponges looked like after 1 month of growing! You can try different types of salt and sponge textures to see how it effects the look of the crystals!