DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Universe in a Jar Craft
- baby food jar.
- sequins, Aluminum foil, sparkles (you need at least one of these, but not all so if you don't have sequins or sparkles don't worry)
- Optional: blue food colouring
- Optional: black paint
- Optional: stickers to decorate with
- scissors and
- Optional: paint the lid of the baby food jar black
and/or decorate with stickers.
- Put in some sparkles, some sequins (star shape, moon shape
and circle shape all work great) and some small balled up pieces of Aluminum foil (cut 1 inch
square pieces of Aluminum foil and let your child ball them up).
- Fill the jar with water
- Optional: Put a few drops of blue food colouring in
- Optional: Put a few drops of oil in for a bit of a
lava lamp effect
- Put the lid on the jar TIGHTLY (ask dad to help!).
- Let your child play with it ... shake it up to see the
universe (you can even talk about the Big Bang theory
here if your kids are old enough).
The Big Bang Theory is a broadly accepted theory for the origin and evolution of our universe. Having said that, it's still "just a theory".
It rests on two ideas:
- The General Theory of Relativity: Over eighty
years ago, Einstein proposed this theory that describes how the distribution of mass in
the universe determines the geometry of the space.
- On the largest scales, the distribution of matter
in the universe is nearly uniform.
In the Big Bang Theory, the universe began with an instantaneously expanding point, roughly ten to twenty billion years ago (in simpler terms, everything was clumped together in the middle and then it blew up! ... shake your universe in a jar to see it blow up). Since then, the universe has continued to expand, gradually increasing the distance between our Galaxy and external galaxies.
Gravity slows the expansion of the
universe (just like it slows the
things we put in our jar). If
the universe is dense enough, the expansion of the
universe will eventually reverse and the universe will collapse (just like the stuff in our jar settles back to the bottom).
If the density is not high enough, then the expansion will continue forever. (sorry, you aren't going to be able to get your jar to do this!)
Thus, the density of the universe will determine its ultimate fate.