Inside: Beach science is a great way to pair a lovely day at the beach with some cool science connections. Try these activities during your next beach adventure.
Science is all about Asking Questions
I grew up in southwester Ontario along the shores of Lake Huron. I spent endless summer hours at the beach. My siblings and friends and I swam, collected shells and made sandcastles. These are very important memories of my childhood. I was a scientist from a very young age. My shells were collected and sorted. I made notes about what I saw and observed. When I had my own children I made frequent trips back to my hometown so they could share in those experiences and engage in some fun beach science.
Beach science activities are a fantastic way to get in tune with the unique biology, chemistry and physics of the summer. Science means asking questions to figure out the answers. What better way to investigate the world around us than doing that while enjoying a beautiful day at the beach.
Beach Science: Physics, Chemistry and Biology-it’s all there!
A trip to the beach is a great time to get kids excited about science. Many children are back to school at the end of summer so pairing your beach visit with some engaging beach experiments and observations is a really good way to get kids stimulated and primed for a great school year. For homeschooling families, there is a great wealth of interesting experiments geared to beach physics. How sound travels under water, how animals such as sharks float under water and the action of waves and tides are a great way of exploring physics concepts in action in the natural world. Investigating the compression of beach sand and the Brazil nut effect are other cool physics concepts waiting to be explored at the beach.
Chemistry can also be investigated. Looking at the composition of sand, dissolving a shell and making sand volcanoes are a fabulous addition to a child’s day at the beach. Both physics and chemistry are important in building a sand castle. What kid or adult for that matter does not love building with sand at the beach?
Biology is a natural study at the beach. Even in fresh water beaches, schools of minnows can be observed. Clams and snails can be found if only by their shells. Sea birds are almost always a noisy presence. What better way to learn about living things at the beach then by sharing in a nature study with your children.
Enjoy Learning Time at the Beach while your Children are Young
My kids are grown up. We still make it to Lake Huron for a day at the beach but sadly no where near as often. Kids grow into adults but I’m happy to say that all three still share a love of science and exploration. I am sure some of that love stems from our many summer trips to the beaches of my childhood.
Want to learn more about the science of waves at the beach? Check out, What Unique Forces Create Powerful Waves on the Shoreline?
Quicksand is sometimes found near beaches. I’ve encountered patches in the woods around my home growing up. Learn about the myths of quicksand, how to get out of a sticky situation and how to make your own quicksand. Check out, Actually, What is Quicksand? Super Easy Experiments.