Thursday, August 26, 2010

Science Experiment - Mummified Apple

We have completed our first science experiment of the year.  We are studying Apologia's Human Anatomy and Physiology and the first lesson was basically an introduction to the course.  This introduction began with a discussion of several ancient cultures and their study of anatomy and ended with a simplified description of cells.

As part of the history of anatomy we read about the ancient Egyptians and the process of mummification.  The suggested experiment involved observing what would happen to a peeled apple if it were left uncovered for a week compared to one that was covered in a mixture of salt and baking soda.

We began the experiment last week by cutting an apple in half and peeling it.  The control apple was left in an open bowl.  The kids mixed the baking soda and salt and took turns covering the other apple.

Taking turns covering the apple...
even Gilligan got in on the action

Once the apple was covered the only thing left to do was wait.  We completed our scientific speculation sheet and observed what was happening to the control apple each day.

The children each had a hypothosis for what would happen to each apple and they all got it pretty close.  Everyone agreed that the control apple would rot, but that the other one probably wouldn't.  Actually, they all agreed that the covered apple would change, but no one could really guess as to how it would change.

The change in the control apple was easily observed and, by the end, quite disgusting.

This is today ... I missed photographing day 6,
but trust me, it looked much the same as today.
This morning we uncovered the other apple (I guess I should be calling them specimens or something scientific like that) to see what the salt and baking soda mixture had done for it.  The kids were incredibly excited to find that their hypothoses had been correct.  The covered apple had changed, but it wasn't rotten, or even nasty looking.  It has turned a yellow/brown and the texture is now kind of rubbery or maybe spongy would be a better word.

I am sure that this is just the first of many experiments we will do this year.  In truth, science was never my favorite subject in school, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if we had done things like this and had a textbook like the ones from Apologia.  All three kids are enjoying science (even the reading) and can recall more information than I would have ever thought possible!


  1. Maybe you have uncovered the "secret" to making charcoal. Thats what the apple looks like!

  2. Ok, I'm mad! Our apple didn't rot like that! In fact, the control apple looked better than the "preserved" one. What did I do wrong? Humph! I never was good at science!

  3. Our regular apple didn't rot either!