Recently, my two boys (age 5 and 6), came to my office to visit me. As a member of the science community, I was very excited to hear my oldest son tell me that they are learning about solids, liquids, and gasses in school. He smiled proudly when he told me that water will only turn to steam if it gets VERY HOT.
He was a bit disappointed when I told him that he was not quite correct, but asked me to prove it (great question from a future scientist???). We have a Fischer Technical Company LAV-3 High Vacuum pump hooked up to one of our pump plates in our warehouse. I asked him to put some water in a beaker and lets put it inside the bell jar and remove as much of the air inside the jar as we can. He watched the water boil once the jar reached high vacuum and told me that I was cheating as I put the water in some kind of oven.
We turned of the pump and he jumped back when I "accidentally" spilled the water on my hand immediately after I took the beaker off of the pump plate. When I showed him that the water was still room temperature, he was amazed!
The moral of this story is that even though a concept may be for a high school level student or higher, kids are never to young to be exposed to science. Their reactions will amaze you!
I hope to see many of you at NSTA and at Pittcon in the next couple of weeks!