Seasonal Science: Will These Fall Favorites Sink or Float in Water?

Looking for an activity that’s educational, kid-friendly, and seasonal? Check out this simple DIY science experiment that utilizes fun fall objects and the age-old question: Will it sink or float? This experiment tests the concepts of density and buoyancy. Basically, dense objects sink and buoyant objects float. 

All you need to conduct this experiment is a large bucket or container of water and a collection of your favorite fall items, such as gourds, leaves, pumpkins, apples, or acorns—the possibilities are endless! 

Step 1: Categorize 

Get a piece of paper and separate it into two columns: sink and float. Go out and collect different sizes of fall leaves so your child can see how size and shape factors into the experiment. Don’t forget to grab some heavier items that are sure to sink like gourds and pumpkins, too. Next, have your child make guesses on whether each item will sink or float. This gets their brain thinking critically before getting to the fun part!

Step 2: Experiment

Now comes the real action! Take each item and place it in the bucket to see whether it will sink or float. See what happens when you push a floating item down to the bottom of the bucket. Try each object more than once, just like a real science experiment, to ensure accurate results. Don’t forget to record each answer and check if their guesses were correct. 

Step 3: Reflect

Encourage curiosity! Ask your child what all of the sinking items and what all of the floating items had in common. Inquire why they may think certain items floated or sank. Don’t forget to explain the concept of density and buoyancy to seal this science lesson in their brains!

Soaking up the science is as easy as 1, 2, 3. This seasonal sink or float project provides a fun, educational activity to kick off the autumn season! Don’t forget to whip up a couple of tasty, water-based fall drinks to enjoy while you explore.

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How Hollywood Movies Make Fake Rain and Snow


Sometimes the weather in a movie can help set the scene, and other times it’s the entire focal point. A scorching trek through the hot desert, a kiss in the rain, a holiday miracle under the falling snow...the list goes on! 

Have you ever wondered how Hollywood producers create these weather effects for a scene when it’s not actually raining or snowing? Let’s find out. 

Singing in the Rain




Whether it's an extreme downpour or a light drizzle, rain can set the mood for a great movie scene. Sometimes, set designers connect massive hoses to fire hydrants or trucks during outdoor shoots, then spray the hoses as desired from substantial heights.

Indoors, though, Most filmmakers use one or multiple rain curtains or rain bars, devices that create a rainfall effect when paired with some clever camera angles, lighting, and fans. 

Let It Snow




Hollywood waits for no one, which means that many holiday movies or snowy sets are actually filmed during other seasons or in places that rarely get snow. So, how do filmmakers make fake snow to create the perfect winter wonderland?

In the very early days of movie magic, substances such as white-painted cornflakes, salt, and flour were used to create the illusion of snow. Nowadays, CGI accounts for some of the amazing effects, but science has also come a long way in creating the perfect snowy substance that’s both safe and believable. 

Thin paper and plastics are two substances that are often shredded to look like snowflakes and blown around with huge wind machines to create a faux snowy scene. It may not sound picturesque, but it sure looks good! 

DIY Movie Set 


If you’re looking to create your own movie magic, there are simple recipes for artificial snow that don’t break the bank. All you need is laundry soap flakes or instant potato flakes and a strong fan to create a decent illusion of blowing snow. If you’re looking to set the stage with snow on the ground, you can mix liquid starch, laundry soap flakes, and blue food coloring. 

Creating your own rain may take a bit more effort. But all you need is a garden hose and a bit of determination! 

Next time you’re watching your favorite film, keep an eye out for the special weather effects filmmakers use to create the illusion of rain or snow. It may not be real water, but it’s still magical!


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Start Feeling Festive with These DIY Fall Drinks

Certain tastes can transport you back in time to your childhood or evoke some of your favorite memories, especially surrounding the holiday season. Did you know that you can make your favorite festive drinks from the comfort of your own home? 

Satisfy your taste buds while staying safe by becoming your very own barista. Try out these four DIY drink recipes that all have one thing in common: water! 

Apple Cider



Nothing says autumn has arrived quite like a hot mug of apple cider. Make this fall classic with only four ingredients and a slow cooker. All you need is apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, and—of course—water!

1. Place everything in the slow cooker.
2. Add water. Use enough to cover the fruit.
3. Cook for 6–7 hours on low heat or 3 hours on high heat.
4. Mash the fruits. Take a giant spoon and begin mashing up all those warm apples and oranges. 
5. Simmer. Allow this liquid mash to simmer for another hour.
6. Strain. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the cider.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup 


Fall hasn’t started until pumpkin spice enters the picture. This easy DIY recipe allows you to make a syrup to put in any of your coffee drinks for that extra fall flair to your caffeine fix. The basic ratio for a simple syrup is one-part sugar and one-part water. You’ll need equal parts brown sugar and water, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, ginger root, vanilla bean paste, and whole cloves.

1. Heat. Heat the brown sugar and water together until dissolved.
2. Add remaining ingredients. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, paste, and cloves to the mix.
3. Simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes. 
4. Pour. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and you’re set!

Hot Chocolate




Nothing warms the body and soul more than a mug of hot chocolate. Grab a blanket, turn on your favorite holiday movie, and get cozy. A single serving ready in just 2 minutes? Yes, please! All you need is 10 oz. of hot water just off the boil, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of half and half, and a dash of salt. 

1. Add all dry ingredients into a mug of hot water. 
2. Stir.
3. Add desired amount of half and half.

Sparkling Cider




Even though you can enjoy it all year long, there’s something special about sparkling cider in the fall. Plus, it makes the perfect non-alcoholic drink for the kids to toast later in the holiday season on New Year’s Eve! Make this fizzy favorite with four ingredients and a freezer. You need frozen apple juice concentrate, frozen white grape fruit concentrate, lemon-lime soda, and ice. 

1. Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl.
2. Serve

These four DIY drinks will set the mood and have you feeling festive in no time. Water you waiting for?


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Breaking Ground in Franklin County, Ohio




After some time in a smaller facility, our Aqua Ohio team is finally getting a big upgrade! Large windows with natural sunlight and energy-efficient fixtures are in the works within a larger space so our team members can better service our Ohio customers. 


The goal of this facility improvement project was to create a professional and safe work environment for our employees and visitors. We also wanted to maximize space while minimizing capital costs, which means almost 100% of our space will be utilized in one way or another. Dave Dunn, area manager for Aqua Ohio’s Franklin Division, has kept us updated on the building’s progress, informing us that things are going well so far. 



So, what’s new?


“Our old office had a very small conference room—so small that we needed to rent out spaces for meetings that involved more than eight people,” Dunn tells us. A conference room with a white board for collaboration and strategic planning was a key part of the facility’s upgrade. Of course, the open office environment also takes the social distancing guidelines and precautions of our new normal into account so that team members can work together both safely and productively.


Dunn estimates that the building will be ready for use within six months of breaking ground.










How does this affect our customers?


“We’re adding updated water and wastewater laboratories that manage all testing requirements for 10 different locations in central and southeast Ohio,” Dunn informed us. “We're also including an environmentally controlled garage space for equipment and load trucks.” This means our tools will have longer lifespans and our response times will improve for customer emergencies. 


“We’re working with our local fire department to allow them to do training on our old office once we vacate,” Dunn adds. The department will conduct firefighter rescue training, smoke training, and even live fire training in the space. 





We’re so glad our old office space can be of use while we provide a new and improved experience for our Ohio team and customers. Here’s to a new era of Aqua in Ohio!



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So your kid wants a pet fish. How much will that impact your water bill?



Compared to a cat or dog, allowing your child to adopt a fish may seem way less daunting—but is the worry of an increased water bill holding you back? Between filling and cleaning a water tank, adding a fishy friend to your household may sound like a burden. We’re here to bust some myths and break down how much you can actually expect your water bill to be impacted (spoiler alert: it’s not a lot). 


Finding the right fit 

The first step of any pet adoption process is finding the right fit. Read up on different species of fish to ensure you choose the best option for your child, as the level of care ranges for different types. It’s also very important to choose the right tank for your fish, which in turn will affect the amount of water you will use per month depending on size and filtering abilities. You can either choose a fish first and research into the perfect tank, or if you’re still weary on water usage, choose a smaller tank and find a fish to fit!



How often to clean


The monotonous process of cleaning and replacing water in an aquarium may put you off on the idea of becoming a fish parent, but the reality is far easier than you’d suspect. The average recommendation is to implement a 30% water change every 2–4 weeks. But, once again, this may vary depending on species and size of the tank. That’s why it’s important to do your research! 


Bonus: It’s suggested to try not to change more than 50% of the water, because doing so can remove helpful bacteria that has grown within the tank or bowl.  


Teaching responsibility 


The truth of the matter is that you won’t know the exact expense of adding a pet fish until it’s adopted, especially with all of the different possible variations of fish and tank size.




However, why not use this moment to teach some important lessons in responsibility to the kids? Pay attention to the small difference in your water bill after adopting a fish, which usually ranges from a few cents to a couple of dollars. Then, consider asking your child to use a portion of their allowance or lemonade stand earnings to cover those expenses. This will teach them accountability, and they may even feel like proud fish parents with real responsibilities. 


Bottom line: if the only thing stopping you from getting a pet fish is the threat of a severely increased water bill—no need to worry. Very rarely will a little fishy friend add that much to your expenses. Either way, you can use it as a valuable lesson for your kids. So go ahead, do your research, and bring home the newest member of your family!

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