Science Fun

NEWS

Posted On: 18 Jun

What’s Up Doc? & Survive and Thrive

What’s Up Doc & Survive and Thrive



What’s Up Doc?
Put on your surgical gloves and join us for some medical mania! Mini MD’s will examine real hearts, brains, eyeballs, and much more! See what it takes to be a doctor, veterinarian or even a food scientist as we investigate and solve all sorts of medical mysteries during this E.R. experience!

Survive and Thrive
You’re lost in the woods, or out a sea, you have only your wits to survive, what do you do!?! This week, we’ll look at how science has been helping people survive incredible situations since literally the dawn of time! We’ll collect water and build fires, explore wildlife and learn to navigate as we learn to Survive and Thrive!!
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Posted On: 15 Jun

Did someone say pirouette?

Science may help keep a ballerina on her toes.

MAVKATE/ISTOCKPHOTO / Article by BETHANY BROOKSHIRE

These are a ballerina’s pointe shoes. A dancer will go through many pairs, but one teen used a science fair project to figure out how to save money — and a lot of shoes. Click here to read the full story.

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Posted On: 10 May

Vance Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Vance Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

“Vance

GRADE: 4th Grade
PROGRAM: Can You Dig It?
Scientist: Jennifer Sickles

It was a Friday morning and so everyone was in a fantastic mood. As I walked the halls of Vance Elementary School, there were many hellos and smiling faces from all the students and staff. I was just as excited as everyone because I got to teach one of my favorite programs to fourth grade called, “Can You Dig it?”

This program is really fun because the junior scientists get to be Geologists for the day. We started out the program talking about the layers of the Earth. The students were very bright, as they were able to describe each layer of the Earth. The layer that we were focusing on the most during this program was the crust. This is the layer that Geologists study because they look for many different rocks and minerals. There were three types of rocks that the scientists had the chance to explore: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. As Geologists, the scientists go on an excavation right inside the classroom. They really got into character when they wore their headlamps (We turned the lights off and did the excavation inside of the cave). Not only do they get to do their very own rock excavations, but they also get to perform field tests on all of the rocks and minerals that are found. Some of these tests included magnetism, hardness, and electrical conductivity! The scientists found a lot of different rocks and minerals that they got to take home with them.

Vance Elementary had an amazing time being Geologists for the day. I really hope that I get the opportunity to explore the Earth’s crust with them again one day!

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Posted On: 1 May

Swift Creek Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Swift Creek Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Swift Creek Elementary School

GRADE: 5th Grade
PROGRAM: Energy Matters
Scientist: Heather Fisher

Scientist Sarah and I got to end our week with the fifth graders at Swift Creek Elementary School for Energy Matters. I could tell the students had been studying energy and heat transfer as we went over the three types of heat transfer. We used some balloons to look up close at what convection and conduction can do. We watched one pop in less than a second, while the addition of water kept a similar balloon from popping for over 20 seconds! Who remembers why one balloon popped and the other didn’t?

My favorite parts of Energy Matters are the two experiments where the students can really SEE how heat is changing the energy of two different chemical reactions. First, we tested some glow sticks. The best part about glow sticks, of course, is that they glow! They glow because the chemicals inside the tube react in an exothermic chemical reaction, which means a chemical reaction the produces energy, in this case mostly light energy! Since we knew heat is also a type of energy, we watched what happened when we took heat away using ice water and when we added heat using warm water. Everyone was a bit dismayed when the cold water seemed to make their glow sticks stop glowing. I was impressed when one resourceful student discovered that she could use friction to make her glow stick brighter again! Thankfully the hot water made them even brighter than before!

With a better understanding of how heat could impact the speed of a chemical reaction, we ended our program in my favorite Science Fun way, with not one but TWO volcanoes. The cold water volcano was pretty impressive, but it didn’t even compare to the speed and strength of the warm water volcano! Pretty crazy how much changing something as simple as heat can change what happens in a chemical reaction! The power of a little extra energy!

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Posted On: 26 Apr

Creekside Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Creekside Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Creekside Elementary School

GRADE: 3rd Grade
PROGRAM: Skin N Bones
Scientist: Davis Tate

I got to spend two wonderful days teaching all about systems of the body with Creekside 3rd Graders!

This trip was especially fun, because this was my second trip to Creekside this year! As Science Fun Scientists, one thing we miss out on sometimes is forming a relationship with the students that we teach. While many schools have our scientists come visit multiple times, the same scientist does not always return for multiple trips. This made it an extra special treat when I walked in to Ms. Barnes’ class and the students actually remembered my name!

We had a blast today learning all about the systems of the body in our “Skin N Bones” program. In this program we cover the skeletal system by holding real animal bones, and the circulatory system by holding real animal hearts, but my favorite system to talk about is the Nervous System!

In our discussion of the nervous system, we talk about how fast it is. I have the students raise their hand as fast as they can. Then I describe the steps that your brain has to go through just to raise your hand. We talk about how your brain has to translate the sounds that my voice makes to follow the directions, then it has to remember the meaning of each word (what is a hand, what does it mean to raise, which way is up!?!?). Then your brain even has to remember how to raise your hand, and it all happens in the blink of an eye!!! It’s really incredible. Another thought that is fun to ponder: The brain is the only organ to name itself . . . CRAZY!!!

I had so much fun with the 3rd graders at Creekside! Thanks everyone!!!!

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Posted On: 17 Apr

Durant Road Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Durant Road Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Durant Road Elementary School

GRADE: Kindergarten
PROGRAM: Animal Detectives
Scientist: Craig Kwiatkowski

I had the pleasure of spending my Thursday at Durant Road last week and the kindergartners were such an amazing group. They requested Animal Detectives, which is a program that looks at all sorts of animals and how they similar and different from each other. Once we started, I could tell they were very knowledgeable about animals. They listed all sorts of different animals that they knew of, and it was quite a diverse list.

We started off discussing birds and what makes them such a unique group of animals. Then, they grabbed a few beaks and pecked away in search of collecting enough food to fill their nests. Through this experiment, they were able to understand how certain beaks are better able to pick up certain types of food. They quickly discovered that chopsticks were better bird beaks than clothespins. Who would have thought?!

Next, it was time to compare the differences between two wiggling little animals we find in the soil. Students dug through dirt in search for worms and beetle larva. They were such brave scientists and didn’t seem nervous at all.

One of my favorite portions of the program was when I got to bring out Pineapple, our armadillo lizard and Minnie, the ball python. The students really enjoyed having the opportunity to touch these animals and even ask the several different questions their little minds come up with. They really got a kick out of Pineapple’s name because she looks like a pineapple rather than it being that she eats it.

Lastly, we were able to make slimy sap for them to take home. I tried fooling the kids into thinking there was a fake bug inside, but they caught on to my tricks pretty quickly. Even though their bug was fake, they had a great time pretending that it was stuck in the sap and oozing out of their hands.

Thanks Ms. Wickes class for making my Thursday awesome. We hope to visit you again soon!

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Posted On: 31 May

Survive and Thrive Program is our Spotlight of the Week

Survive and Thrive Program is our Spotlight of the Week

“Survive

GRADE: K-5th Grades
PROGRAM: Survive and Thrive
Scientist: Maddie O’Beirne

This week I had the privilege of leading a camp in our science fun lab called Survive and Thrive, where I got to teach scientists K-5th grade about the science of survival! The junior scientists came from elementary schools all over the triangle. We had brothers, sisters, old friends and new friends come to science fun camp to learn and have fun!
We explored what it takes in order to survive in the wild in extreme circumstances. For instance, on Monday we learned how to forage for food and make our own edible food by planting herbs such as basil, cilantro, dill, and mint! We learned that plants with waxy leaves, milky sap, and white umbrella shaped flowers are all signs of potentially poisonous plants that we should avoid!

On Tuesday, the junior scientists learned about different survival techniques from the survival experts: animals! We explored the different adaptations animals use in order to survive in their environment such as mimicry, camouflage, migration, hibernation. We made our own “blubber” out of slime that helped us adapt to a freezing cold cooler of ice, just like an arctic animal. Blubber helps to create insulation that traps heat closer to the body.

On Wednesday, we got to learn about the sequence of events that are most important in order to survive.  The first thing we would need to find if we were lost in the woods is shelter. Shelter is the most important thing to create or find as daylight can fade quickly and your body can lose heat even quicker! We learned that once you make shelter, it’s important to create a fire, then find water, and lastly find food!! We can last 3 days without water and over 3 weeks without food!! One of the easiest shelters to make is an A-frame shelter. The scientists got to go outside and work in teams to build shelters that insulated an ice cube using only the materials they could find on the ground.

Last but not least, on Thursday we learned about how important water is in terms of our survival. We are mostly made of water, so it’s important we keep our body hydrated! We learned that there are lots of materials found in nature that can act as a water filter when we need to filter out dirt. Things like clay, sand, pebbles, and rocks all act as great materials to filter water for drinking. We also learned that filtering water through materials in the ground alone will not clean our water and make it potable (meaning safe to drink.) We would also need to boil it to get rid of bacteria! After a long week of fun experiments, the scientists are ready to test out their new knowledge next time they go camping. Let’s just hope that they will not have to use ALL of the knowledge they learned about surviving in emergency situations.

I can’t believe we are already done with Survive and Thrive camp and I can’t wait until the next opportunity to teach this camp again. As always, we are looking for junior scientists to join our next Survive and Thrive camp. So if you love being in the great outdoors, check out our week long camp!!!

Hope to see you there next time!!
Scientist Maddie

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Posted On: 30 May

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: HOW TO MAKE A LIQUID SANDWICH

 

 

COMPLETE ONE YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT EXPERIMENT TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT BADGE

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A LIQUID SANDWICH

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Two tablespoons oil

Two tablespoon water

Two tablespoon honey

Narrow jar

 

 

 

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Directions:

Add the water, oil, and honey to the jar.

Then honey, oil, and water will separate into layers that resemble a sandwich.

 

 

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Posted On: 30 May

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: HOW TO MAKE CURDS AND WHEY

 

 

COMPLETE ONE YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT EXPERIMENT TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT BADGE

 

 

HOW TO MAKE CURDS AND WHEY

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Wide mouthed jar

One cup of milk

One third cup of vinegar

 

 

 

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Directions:

Combine the milk and vinegar in a jar.

The milk will change. The curds will be on the bottom of the jar and the watery liquid at the top will be the whey.

 

 

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Posted On: 30 May

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: CAN A LEMON MAKE ELECTRICITY

 

 

COMPLETE ONE YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT EXPERIMENT TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT BADGE

 

 

CAN A LEMON MAKE ELECTRICITY?

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Lemon

Two pieces of copper wire

Knife

Large paper clip

Galvanometer

 

 

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Directions:

Roll and squeeze the lemon to loosen the pulp inside.

Use the knife to cut two small slits in the lemon about one inch apart.

Wrap on end of a piece if the copper wire around the paper clip. You may have to remove some of the insulation to expose the bare copper wire.

Push the paper clip into one of the slits in the lemon.

Now take the other piece of copper wire and insert a bare end of the wire into the other slit in the lemon.

Attach the free ends of the two wires to the terminals on the galvanometer.

Watch the meter to see if the needle moves.

 

 

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Posted On: 30 May

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: CAN YOU MAKE LITMUS PAPER OUT OF RED CABBAGE

 

 

COMPLETE ONE YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT EXPERIMENT TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT BADGE

 

 

CAN YOU MAKE LITMUS PAPER OUT OF RED CABBAGE

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Jar

Paper towels

Head of red cabbage

Grater

Saucepan

Strainer

 

 

 

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Directions:

With the help of an adult, grate half of the head of red cabbage into the saucepan and add one cup of water.

Boil for fifteen minutes.

Let the juice cool.

Strain out the cabbage from the cooled juice and pour the juice into the jar.

Cut several strips of paper towel into two inch wide by four inch long strips.

Soak the paper towel strips in the cabbage juice for about a minute.

Remove the strips and let them dry.

Your litmus paper will turn reddish-pink if something you test is an acid and green if something you test is an alkali.

Try using you litmus paper to test things like milk, vinegar, and various fruit juices.

 

 

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Posted On: 30 May

WONDERFUL WINTER: SIMPLE DEMONSTRATION OF GLACIER FORMATION

 

 

COMPLETE ONE WONDERFUL WINTER EXPERIMENT TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: WONDERFUL WINTER BADGE

 

 

SIMPLE DEMONSTRATION OF GLACIER FORMATION

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Snow (or have an adult shave some ice in a blender)

 

 

 

 

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CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: SCIENCE EXPLORER KIT!

 

Directions:

Make a snow ball.

Use your hands to compact the snow as tightly as possible.

Place the compacted snow ball in the freezer for thirty minutes.

The snowball will be a solid chunk of ice.

 

 

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