Search This Blog

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Week 4 - Science Week! with the Mad Scientists!

Group shot! (From left): Jillian, Serena, Justice, Chase, Alicen, Kyleen and Sara! Our MAD SCIENTISTS! 
Oho! A whole week late, here, finally, is my Mad Scientist post for last week's Summer Reading Club meeting! Our theme you ask? SCIENCE! :D

Last week was loads of fun, fresh off from the Guest Wednesday the previous afternoon, with Allyson, lots of the kids were excited to continue our adventures through the world of science!

We started off with the food colouring, milk and soap experiment (after reading from "Science Verse) that I also did with the Young Professors! It's lots of fun and if you'd like to here more about it check out my post about this activity here:

I also need to thank my friend Teresa! I asked her at the beginning of summer about any cool science-y activities/experiments for kids and she whipped this right out of her memories from Science World! Awesome! Science World is like the Disneyland of science!

Here's a few links to some websites that talk more about this activity!

Here are some pictures of the Mad Scientists enjoying their milk rainbows!

Brothers Justice and Chase!
Misses Kyleen and Serena
A close up on Serena's green milk explosion.
The ladies' table
The boys' table! So spacious! 
Here's my demonstration plates! The left is a beautiful representation of diffusion in water and the left is my milk plate, the colours disrupted by a dab of soap! 

We then moved on to talking about different states of matter: solids, liquids and gases! We talked about the differences between the three states and then I posed a demonstration for the kids! I showed a tank of water and we all were familiar with its movements: how it fills the container its placed in, how it reacts to outside forces, how it bends and flows and its viscosity - a liquid's measured thickness or resistance to flow in a fluid. It is a fine example of a newtonian fluid! Newton proposed that a liquid's viscosity is directly related to temperature, and that is what we can observe in newtonian fluids! For example, honey and ketchup are both thick liquids that flow slowly. But when you heat honey up it flows more easily and therefore cold honey is more viscous than warm honey!

After investigating or tub of water, I brought out my tub of cornstarch mixture! It also goes my the name oobleck and is made of 1.5 parts cornstarch to 1 part water, and mixed up very well!

This cornstarch mixture is a strange and fun way to learn about non-newtonian fluids! These fluids act strange in that they act like a solid at times and a liquid at other times! Where a newtonian fluid, like water, moves and flows away when an outside forces pushes against it, a non-newtonian fluid instead of moving, solidifies and stiffens like a solid! Here the molecules of the mixture react to the outside pressure and move closer together, almost like moving into a crystalline structure! And then almost immediately after the pressure is taken away, the non-newtonian fluid goes back to flowing like a liquid! This is a great example of a non-newtonian fluid, because here the fluid changes its viscosity when stress or a force is applied! - not when heat is applied, as was the case with a newtonian fluid.
For me, the best way to demonstrate this is when you punch a tub full of the oobleck - as I showed the kids! I (gently) punched my tub of water to show the water moves and flows away, while causing a bit of a splash. Then I punched the oobleck and rather than my fist going through the liquid it bounced of a rigid surface!

Before I unleashed the Mad Scientists into the ooze and globs of cornstarch, I asked them to watch a video that explains oobleck very well! One of my all-time favourite authors, John Green, is an avid YouTuber and started a vlogchannel with his brother Hank Green. 

You can check out a couple of John's books out here at the library: "Paper Towns" and a short story in the compilation book "Geektastic". 

Click on this link to be taken to their YouTube page:

Anyways, I love the Green Brothers, they are great people. And John's brother, Hank, is an accomplished environmental science blogger. Nowadays, John and Hank have started a new creation of online education videos that are both entertaining and extremely educational! So for the Mad Scientists we watched one of Hank's videos talking about non-newtonian fluids!

I'll post it here if you'd like to take a look at it!

The kids really liked this video, I think the best thing I heard all week came from Justice who said "That guy is even better than Bill Nye the Science Guy!" ... Now I don't know if Hank is BETTER than good ol' Bill but they are definitely two amazing and awesome people! 

So finally, after a great deal of patience on their side, the Mad Scientists (fully gloved) attacked the oobleck and played around. Some tried to make snowball ooblecks... that generally ended up oozing away in your hands! Some tried punching, others tried mixing ... and some tried ripping their hands out from the depth of the oobleck!

Here's some pictures of the mess we made!

Kyleen, Justice and Alicen!
Kyleen, Justice, Alicen and Chase

Miss Jillian in the zone with her oobleck!

Finally we moved on to our last experiment for the day! We made some "elephant toothpaste" - as its called.

This is a fun experiment that is a great example of the use of a catalyst in chemical reactions! Here we used a catalyst, catalase, which is found in yeast, to decompose hydrogen peroxide into two products: Water (H2O) and Oxygen gas (O2) (don't mind my total disregard for subscripts in my chemical formulas! IT'S SUMMER FOR GOODNESS SAKES! Give me my freedom!!!!)

Whew, anyways, what we did here was combine hydrogen peroxide (you can use the kind that you find at Walmart and use on your cuts and scrapes although the reaction is a little slower and not so dramatic, since that kind of hydrogen peroxide is 3% and diluted, there's also a salon hair care formula that you can get at certain beauty supply stores or salons that is used for bleached or peroxide blond hair, that is 6% hydrogen peroxide. We were fortunate enough to have both types of 3% and 6%, along with 30% hydrogen peroxide given to us by the great Allyson Perrott from our guest wednesday! Thank you!), soap, food colouring and yeast into a container and watch as the hydrogen peroxide began to breakdown.

Now H2O2 - hydrogen peroxide - naturally and slowly breaks down into water and oxygen gas, as seen in the formula: 2H2O2 --> 2H2O + O2

What we did in our experiment was speed up the reaction with the yeast - or catalyst, and since I had added soap into our mixture something crazy occurred! As the H2O2 broke down the resulting water and oxygen gas created bubbles in the soap! And that's how our beakers began to ooze and foam with such colourful bubbles!

You can learn more about how to do this activity and variations of it at home at the following websites:

Oh! And watch these videos if you'd like to see what you missed this fine Thursday morning! Although this is a much more concentrated and therefore dramatic retelling of our tale!

And now for some pictures!

Our hydrogen peroxide mess!
FOAM! Justice is very much so unimpressed!!! >.<
Our Mad Scientists!
Group shot #2!
The library was transformed into a Mad Scientist's Laboratory! Next week we shall have to practise our evil laughs!! MUAAHAHAHAHAHAA ha
Miss Jillian waiting for ride home! I had to snap a quick photo! So sweet!
Our last foamy experiment!
Our beautiful mess!
And that was the last event for our science week! I had a blast - literally... ! And while the messes we made took hours to clean up, the time we had experimenting and learning about science was fun and AWESOME!

Come down to the library and try to find some good science books! Happy Reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment