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Cosmetic Chemistry Experiment for Kids Homeschooling with Rachael Pontillo, for ABC's Outside the Classroom

Homeschooling Cosmetic Chemistry Experiment for Kids: How to Mix Oil and Water

I’m sure you’ve seen multiple memes lately of the famous Mister Rogers “look for the helpers” quote. Here it is if you’re not familiar:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” –Fred Rogers

We have lots of helpers lately. Of course first responders and everyone working in hospitals caring for the sick, keeping patients and staff fed (like my husband, who is the executive chef at a hospital), keeping things as disinfected as possible, etc. Scientists and doctors who are working hard to figure this virus out, so we can stop it and prevent it from coming back. Parents who are now either 100% in charge of homeschooling their kids, or who are trying to facilitate their kids’ learning remotely. Teachers who are quickly learning new technology and trying to provide some semblance of education to distracted kids, while likely caring for their own kids at home at the same time. And we must acknowledge all essential workers helping us keep our refrigerators stocked, bellies full, loan and unemployment applications processing, and pets cared for.

I also want to acknowledge my friends and colleagues in the media who are doing their best to deliver pandemic news on repeat, all day and night, every day and night. As one of my producers said, “It brings us no joy–we are scared too and not immune to the impacts. But giving the people the latest and most accurate information during a crisis is a crucial job–and for that I am proud.” (Sam M.)

Fortunately, most networks are still having guests appear virtually, to offer viewers a break from the virus coverage. I’ve been really happy to share some fun and informative holistic skincare tips on shows like Cheddar News, Good Morning Connecticut (every week this month!), and just last week, on a brand new show from ABC 7 in DC called Outside the Classroom.

Oil, water, lecithin, and a finished cream for a homeschooling cosmetic chemistry experiment for kids.

Outside the Classroom is full of helpers.

It is an hour dedicated to sharing entertaining educational content to help kids who are now learning from home (and their parents who are trying to facilitate their learning). It’s hosted by WJLA’s meteorologist (who is also a science teacher), Ryan Miller, and also features fun, educational segments from parents, families, teachers, who volunteered their time and talents to contribute these homeschooling lessons. The goal was to provide community education in a peaceful, fun way–very much inspired by Mister Rogers Neighborhood (but minus the puppets).

My daughters and I got to be helpers in a segment on Outside the Classroom!

In this segment, (which starts around 15:45), my daughter and I taught a little cosmetic chemistry experiment for kids about emulsions. We used a very basic cream to demonstrate how to get water and oil to mix and stay together. Watch the show below:

Rachael Pontillo and her daughter teaching a cosmetic chemistry experiment for kids on ABC's Outside the Classroom.

Keep in mind that if you wanted to actually use this as a shelf-stable lotion or cream, you’d need to add a broad spectrum antimicrobial or preservative, and possibly a co-emulsifier or gum to keep it safe and stable! The purpose of this demonstration was to use something practical like a cream to teach a little homeschooling chemistry experiment for kids.

It was a family effort too, because while my younger daughter assisted me in front of the camera, my older daughter was in charge of filming the close-ups, and editing the video before we sent it off to the producer. And my husband contributed by cracking a joke “So you basically made mayonnaise.” It would be the most posh mayonnaise ever if that was the case!

Enjoy, and share Outside the Classroom with anyone you know with kids at home so they can have fun learning too 

Outside the Classroom is on DC’s ABC7 at 9am Monday-Friday. The show also went national yesterday, and is available to stream daily on the Stirr app!

I hope you and your household are safe, well, and as peaceful as possible. Hang in there! We’ll get through this together!

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