Scientifically Speaking - 10/17/23


Earlier this year, I decided to begin online schooling instead of going to public school every day.  I had the four classes required for all schools and the choice of an elective.  I eventually settled on Health for the elective, expecting education on how the body worked.  After a few days, a project was assigned that involved bones and calcium.  I was to place two chicken bones in separate bowls and fill the bowls with liquids, one with vinegar and one with cola.  After five days, I would have to record the physical properties of the bones and submit them to the assignment.
One day while my family was driving home from Weskan, we remembered that this experiment needed to be started soon.  We bought a large bottle of Coca-Cola while we were there.  We knew we already had vinegar at home, so all that was left was getting the chicken bones.  My grandparents told me that they were making chicken, and they could keep the bones to send to me for the project.  I went on with my day, expecting to start tomorrow.
The next day, I was notified that the bones were accidentally thrown away and that we would have to get the bones another way.  My mom’s friend, who was planning to fry chicken, happily supplied a bag of bones the next day. Then I forgot to do the experiment and left the bones in the fridge for later.  When I finally remembered to perform the experiment, I got my sister, Violet, to help me.  We extracted the bones from the bag they were kept in.  I chose two short bones of slightly different lengths.
This is when I made the worst mistake of the whole project.  I used bowls made of paper, not glass.  I placed one bone in each bowl and poured the cola into the first bowl. Before I poured the vinegar, I opened the bottle and decided that it was a good idea to sniff it.  I backed away from the bottle with regret.  The cola bone floated, while the other bone sank in the vinegar, showing a difference in density.
After pouring both liquids, the vinegar smell began to spread through the kitchen, so I ran with Violet to the room farthest from the bones.  After about twenty minutes, I began smelling the vinegar there.  Violet was in the very corner and hadn’t smelt it until I mentioned it.  We decided to check on the bones with our shirts over our noses.  When we got to the kitchen, we noticed that the flimsy paper bowls had begun leaking and creating a mixture of cola and vinegar on the tray that lay on the table.
We went to get glass bowls but realized that there were only two bowls of the correct size.  If we were to use them, we would have no large bowls for a whole week.  My mom parked outside the house to bring Violet somewhere, and I asked her if I could use the remaining glass bowls.  After hearing a “yes,” I ran inside as quickly as possible and poured the bones into the glass bowls, spilling some vinegar in the process.
For the next couple days, every time mom would wake up and walk into the kitchen, she would smell the vinegar and just go back downstairs.  On the fourth day of the experiment, she decided to go up and put the bones into sealed jars, to prevent the smell from spreading.  The final mistakes of the experiment were over.  We could now walk through the house without vinegar stinging our noses.
On the last day, I once again forgot to complete the project.  When I finally remembered to remove the bones, I placed them on plates to dry.  I labeled the plates to differentiate them, but it wasn’t really necessary.  The cola bone was transformed into the color of the liquid it was in.  The vinegar bone was slightly squishy now.  Both of the bones had a similar texture to the way they started, though.
After dumping the liquids onto the road and cleaning the jars, I felt a bit disappointed.  All that happened was a change in color and a slightly elastic structure.  I looked up this experiment online, where the other people who performed it got way better results, such as bones that could be bent by a 90-degree angle.  If the experiment was to teach me about how drinks affect my bones, all I learned was that my bones could go brown if I drink too much cola in my lifetime and that drinking vinegar could make my bones a bit more flexible over time.



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