Science and the Bible aren’t meant to be separate or at odds with each other. Instead, science can be experienced because a brilliant Designer created our world.
I, Dr. Fizzlebop, hope you’ll encourage your children to see the world around them and the science within it through the wondrous lens of the Creator who made it. You can start that journey this summer by doing the following experiments and Bible lessons with your children.
As a dad of four children, ages 12, 10, 8 and 6, I’m in a constant state of awe watching them learn about the world around them. As my wife and I teach them about what they see, feel, smell and experience, we do so through a lens of what the Creator made.
We tell our kids, “Look at what He gave us. Isn’t it marvellous?”
One day when my family and I reached the summit of a scenic hike, my daughter Elsie raised her arms to the heavens and shouted, “This is what God made!”
I smiled, my eyes teared up and my heart felt amazingly full.
Wind and rain had eroded the rocks. Birds had scattered seeds across the cliffside, resulting in trees sprouting in odd places. Bees buzzed around brilliant purple flowers – all explainable with scientific reason.
Yet Elsie saw the Master behind the design. He is a creative God who made the intricacies of this world and sets plans in place for the birds and bees to act as they do, for thunderstorms to bring wind and rain, for the landscape to form and change over time as nature and humans interact with it.
Finding God within science experiments
The history of science and the Bible reveals many key individuals motivated by their Christian faith. Their scientific examination of God’s visible creation helped them learn more about – Galileo, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, George Washington Carver.
Robert Boyle, the founder of modern chemistry, even said, “Remember to give glory to the One who authored nature.”
God designed and made our world. How it works is where the intricacies begin – from a seemingly infinite universe to a single blood cell coursing through our veins. Science and the Bible aren’t meant to be separate or at odds with each other. Instead, science can be experienced because a brilliant Designer created our world.
Newton’s fizztastic rocket
Discover the gravity-defying power of pressure and observe Isaac Newton’s third law of motion. Next, discuss how science and the Bible interact to reveal God’s majesty.
Empty 16.9-ounce (500-milliliter) plastic bottle
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
Small square of paper towel
Eyewear, such as safety goggles
Cork to seal the bottle so the gas won’t escape
1. Tape one end of each straw to the lower side of the plastic bottle so they go above the opening and look like three vertical pillars. They should be placed evenly around the bottle so they become a stand for the bottle when it’s suspended upside down.
2. Flip the bottle right-side up and pour the vinegar into it.
3. Scoop the baking soda onto a paper towel and fold the paper towel around the soda to form a small package. The paper-towel covering will slow down the chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda and give you time to set up the rocket.
4. Carry the rocket and the baking-soda package outside to a solid launchpad, like a driveway or sidewalk. (Check your surroundings to make sure you are clear of anything that might get hit when the rocket launches.)
5. While wearing safety goggles, place the baking soda and paper towel into the bottle and seal the opening tightly with the cork. Stand the bottle upside down on the straws and move away quickly.
6. Observe as the cork bursts out of the bottle and your rocket soars fizztastically into the sky.
SAFETY WARNING: Consider where the rocket might land. Anyone watching the launch should stand clear.
Dr. Fizzlebop, what’s happening?
Baking soda and vinegar create a gas called carbon dioxide. The gas can’t escape the bottle because of the cork, so the pressure builds inside the bottle. Eventually, the pressure pushes the cork out of the bottle’s opening. Then the bottle launches into the air. You just saw Newton’s third law of motion in action: Every action produces an equal and opposite reaction.
Sometimes we humans have a different sort of pressure that mounts up inside our hearts. We get stressed over deadlines or irritated by people.
Proverbs 27:19 teaches us that the contents of our hearts will show up in our lives. And Jesus said in Matthew 15:18-19 that our words are a result of the thoughts in our hearts. If we don’t let out the emotional pressure in our hearts safely, it can build until we figuratively blow up.
The next time you feel pressures rising inside your heart, pray. Then take a walk, play basketball, talk to someone or journal.
Magnificently cool comet model
Use this comet model experiment to explore God’s magnificent creation. Then, explain how science complements the Bible by revealing God’s unique creations.
5 pounds (about 2.25 kilograms) of dry ice (either in a block or in granules)
Insulated container (for holding the dry ice)
Thick, nonporous gloves for handling the dry ice (found in hardware stores or online chemistry stores)
Eyewear, such as safety goggles
Towel or pillowcase to wrap the dry ice (one you don’t mind getting dirty)
Mallet for crushing the dry ice
Large plastic bowl
Heavy-strength, plastic garbage bag at least 12 gallons in size
34 ounces (1 liter) of water
About 2 cups of dirt (remove debris such as twigs and rocks)
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol
Large plastic or wooden spoon
1. Find a well-ventilated area to conduct the experiment.
2. Have an adult, wearing thick gloves and safety goggles, wrap the dry ice in a towel or pillowcase and crush it with the mallet.
FIZZ TIP: Crushing half or more of the ice into powder will help the water freeze so the comet will stay together better. Crushing the dry ice may be completed in advance. Just be sure to store it in an insulated container.
3. Set the large plastic bowl on the flat tray.
4. Use the plastic garbage bag to securely line the bowl.
5. Pour the water, dirt, cornstarch, corn syrup, vinegar and rubbing alcohol into the lined bowl.
6. Mix everything together using the spoon.
7. Have everyone put on their protective eyewear or safety goggles.
SAFETY TIP: Stand back and watch out for flying shards of ice, especially during this next step.
8. Have an adult add all the crushed dry ice to the bowl and stir.
9. Grasp the edges of the plastic bag and bring them up to enclose the mixture.
10. With gloved hands, press down on the plastic bag to shape the mixture into a solid mass as the water freezes.
FIZZ TIP: More water may be needed to get the mixture to stick together. It may take a few tries to get the right amount of water.
11. Unwrap the solid comet from the bag and hold it in gloved hands in front of the hair dryer and flashlight. Then turn on the hair dryer and flashlight, which represent the sun’s heat and light.
12. Observe the streams of gas from the comet that flow away from the sun.
FIZZ TIP: It’s common for comets to break down near the sun, so don’t worry if yours begins to fall apart.
13. Leave the comet to melt someplace safe where no one will touch it and the extremely cold liquids won’t damage anything.
SAFETY WARNING: This experiment requires dangerously cold, subfreezing dry ice. Children must do this experiment with an adult and always wear thick gloves. Never touch the ice or the comet with bare skin. Shards of ice will fly out, so always wear protective eyewear or safety goggles. Safety first!
Dr. Fizzlebop, what’s happening?
Many of the ingredients you used mimic the elements that make up real comets. Your frozen chunk of ice and dirt is what scientists call the nucleus of a comet. The nucleus is formed out of frozen gases and dust. Dry ice is the solid state of a gas called carbon dioxide.
The rubbing alcohol stands in for methanol, another gas comets contain. Comets also contain amino acids, depicted here by the vinegar. The dark corn syrup helped give your model the dark color that real comets have. You added the cornstarch to help your comet model stick together. So comets are similar to dirty snowballs in space.
When a comet’s orbit takes it close to the sun, its frozen gases return to being gases. The frozen water returns to liquid first. The melting gas vapors create a shining tail, sometimes millions of miles long.
What an amazing creator is our God! Take a moment to read Deuteronomy 10:14 and Psalm 8:1-4 and worship our great God. Thank him that, as mighty as he is, he loves and cares for us humans through science and the Bible.
Layered rainbow bubbles
Create a visible demonstration of one of God’s marvellous promises. Also, explore how his promises extend throughout science and the Bible.
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup warm water
Spoon or whisk
2 tablespoons liquid dish soap
1. Pour the sugar into the warm water and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Slowly pour the dish soap into the sugar water.
3. Gently stir the solution, mixing the sugar, soap and water completely.
FIZZ TIP: For steps 2 and 3, go slow and be gentle so bubbles won’t begin to form.
FIZZ TIP: If you leave the solution under loose plastic wrap for 24 hours, you will get better results.
4. Rub a thin, circular coating of bubble solution on a clean, smooth and hard countertop or table. The circle should have a 10-inch (25-centimetre) circumference.
5. Submerge the tip of the straw in the bubble solution and get a tiny drop on the tip end.
6. Place your finger over the dry end of the straw and vertically place the tip of the straw with the drop of solution on your prepared countertop.
7. Now blow through the dry end of the straw to form a bubble dome.
8. Remove the straw from the countertop, get more bubble solution on the tip, and then carefully insert the tip vertically into your original bubble dome and gently blow.
9. Repeat the previous step and see how many bubbles-within-bubbles you can create.
Dr. Fizzlebop, what’s happening?
Adding soap to water loosens the bonds between the water molecules. It also makes them more elastic, allowing you to blow bubbles within bubbles. The soap and the sugar help keep the bubbles from popping by keeping the water from evaporating.
The first bubble swelled when you blew more bubbles inside it because you inserted more air inside the bubble. The rainbow colours on the bubbles’ surfaces are created by light waves bouncing and reflecting off the surface.
Does the rainbow colouring of the bubbles remind you of a promise God made in the Bible? Read the story of Noah in Genesis 9:8-17.
When you get scared, think about these rainbow bubbles. God always keeps his promises.
Final thoughts on science and the Bible
Brock Eastman's books have sold more than 150,000 copies. He writes feature stories and the Dr. Fizzlebop recurring column for Focus on the Family's Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines, and he served as producer and podcast host for Adventures in Odyssey. Learn more at BrockEastman.com
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