Origami Frogs

What You Need:

  • Pre-cut green paperorigami-jumping-frog-7
  • Googly eyes
  • Origami instructions

origami-jumping-frog

What Do You Do?

  • Go through step-by-step instructions with the group as you make a jumping frog out of paper.
  • Add sticky eyes to the top and your frog is complete!

Summary:

This is intended as an end-of-year activity.  When kids are finished making frogs, we do a summary of all activities learned throughout the year–a bit of a question-answering contest.

 

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Bubble Geometry

cube

What You Need:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Small straws
  • Buckets with water
  • Dish soap

Bubble geometry

What Do You Do?

  • Thoroughly go over the bubble geometry presentation.
  • Give each student pipe cleaners and a handful of pre-cut small straws.
  • Have them make a cube, pyramid, or other 3-D shape with their supplies–make sure to keep a handle on the shape with pipe cleaners!
  • Go outside and dip the 3-D shape into the water with dish soap (bubble solution) and see what forms inside the shape.
  • If you can, try to blow bubbles with your wand!

What Happened?

Soap film must stretch to include the air trapped inside it, or reach the surfaces that form its boundaries.  The more soap film stretches, the more elastic potential energy it gains.  Soap film will stretch as little as possible to keep its potential energy low.  The soap film will try to keep its surface area small.

Refraction

What You Need:

  • Invisibility-through-refractionGlass test tubes
  • 500-1000 mL beakers
  • Baby oil

Light and reflection

What Do You Do?

  • Thoroughly go over the refraction presentation.
  • Fill the beaker about 3/4 full with baby oil.
  • Put the glass test tube into the beaker with oil–can you see the test tube?
  • Now slowly pour baby oil into the test tube (while it’s still in the beaker).  Can you see the test tube disappear?

What Happened?

When light travels from one material to another it usually changes speed. This change in speed makes light bend, and our eyes can see the change.

The refractive index is a measure of the change in speed of light when it passes from one material (like water or air) into another.

This activity uses two objects that have a similar refractive index, and light does not get bent (refracted) when it passes through the baby oil and into the glass. As no light is bent, our eyes cannot see a change in what’s there.

Light and Reflection

What You Need:

reflectionfigure1

  • Laser pointers
  • Bullseye printouts
  • Handheld mirrors

Light and reflection

What Do You Do?

  • Thoroughly go over the light and reflection presentation.
  • Group the students and have them practice reflecting the laser pointer light from the mirror to the bullseye.
  • If time permits, have student groups compete to see who can hit the bullseye the fastest!

What Happened?

Reflection occurs when light bounces off objects.  How much reflection depends upon how even the surface is.  If the surface is rough, the light scatters.  If the surface is smooth and flat, the light will bounce off it at equal angles.  That is why a flat mirror reflects a good likeness of the object being reflected.

Solar Bags

What You Need:

  • wslr_200-04Solar bags (ordered from Steve Spangler Science)
  • String to tie the bag shut and keep it from floating away!

Solar Bags

What Do You Do?

  • Thoroughly go over the Solar Bag pdf presentation.
  • Go outside and carefully roll out the solar bag and tie one end with the string.
  • After rolling out the bag and tying one of the ends, you have to run around and fill the bag with air.
  • Once it is full, tie the other end so that air can’t escape and watch the power of the sun at work!

What Happened?

The solar energy will heat up the air inside the bag causing the molecules to move around and bump into all sides of the solar bag and make it rise! This is a perfect experiment to learn about the properties of air, buoyancy and convection. It’s amazing science at work!

Energy!

What You Need:

motion_energy1_240x180

  • Yard stick
  • Bouncing ball
  • Toy matchbox car
  • Poppers

Energy Presentation

What Do You Do?

For the bouncing ball:

– 1 person holds the yard stick against the wall

– 1 person holds the ball at a short height and bounces the ball

– 1 person keeps track of how high the ball goes

– repeat for multiple heights

For the car:

– open their lab notebook slightly to make a small ramp.. roll the car down and measure how far it goes

– keep making the ramp steeper.. measure how far the car goes

 

For the poppers:

– each person takes turns doing the popper once

– discuss.. what gives the popper potential energy?  Where was work done on the popper?

What Happened?

An object can store energy as the result of its position. For example, the heavy heavy ball of a demolition machine is storing energy when it is held at an elevated position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy. Similarly, a drawn bow is able to store energy as the result of its position. When assuming its usual position (i.e., when not drawn), there is no energy stored in the bow. Yet when its position is altered from its usual equilibrium position, the bow is able to store energy by virtue of its position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy. Potential energy is the stored energy of position possessed by an object.

If you lift an object up, you put energy into the gravitational field. This energy is not immediately apparent. It is stored energy. The higher you lift the object, the more the energy is stored in the gravitational field. So, the amount of energy that is stored is a function of where you locate the object, a function of how high up you lift it. Therefore, potential energy is not only called stored energy, it is also called energy dependent upon position

Alka Seltzer Rockets

What You Need:

  • Alka-Seltzer-Rocket-edit3Plastic cups
  • Film canisters
  • Water
  • Alka Seltzer pellets
  • Pre-drawn construction paper

AlkaSeltzerRockets001

What Do You Do?

  • Add either 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 of the canister with water.
  • Place the Alka-Seltzer tablet in the film canister.
  • Fit the lid on the canister, making sure the seal is tight.
  • Quickly turn the canister upside-down and place it on a flat surface. Stand back!
  • Which canister went the furthest?  1/4, 1/2, or 3/4?
  • Take home the construction paper so that you can now decorate your rocket!

What Happened?

When water is added to the Alka-Seltzer tablet, bubbles of carbon dioxide gas are given off. When the lid is fitted tightly to the canister this gas is contained within an enclosed space. As more gas is given off the pressure inside the canister rises until there is enough force to overcome the seal of the lid. The built up pressure exerts enough force to shoot the canister into the air, forming the rocket.

Tips for Success

Make sure the film canister lid is tightly fitting or you will only get a disappointing ‘fizz’. You should also clean the canister lip and lid between demonstrations so that no pieces of Alka-Seltzer get stuck between them, ruining the seal.

Oobleck!

What You Need:

  • Corn starchFHC6D1YFIWH3S1V.LARGE
  • Water
  • Plastic baggies
  • Food coloring

viscosity (1)

What Do You Do?

  • Pour  about 1/2 cup of cornstarch into a plastic baggie, and dip your hands into it. Can you feel how smooth the powder is? It’s made up of super-fine particles.
  • Now pour the water in, mixing slowly as you go. Keep adding more water until the mixture becomes thick (and hardens when you tap on it). Add more cornstarch if it gets too runny, and more water if it becomes too thin.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. (If you want to turn your Oobleck another hue, it’s easier to add the coloring to the water before you mix it with the cornstarch.)
  • Oobleck is non-toxic, but please use caution when doing any science activity. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands after handling the Oobleck.

What Happened?

Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens—your fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.

Oobleck and other pressure-dependent substances (such as Silly Putty and quicksand) are not liquids such as water or oil. They are known as non-Newtonian fluids. This substance’s funny name comes from a Dr. Seuss book called Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

States of Matter

What You Need:

  • Dry ice pelletsdry_ice_bubble-1-300x206
  • Cups with water
  • Dish soap
  • Pieces of cloth
  • Food coloring
  • Balloons

States of Matter

What Do You Do?

  • Talk about the different states of matter (using the attached pdf presentation).
  • Talk about the special properties of dry ice, and sublimation.
  • Put water in each clear plastic cup.
  • Add some dry ice to the cup and observe as it bubbles.
  • Using a piece of cloth dipped in soapy water, drag the cloth along the top of the cup to create a bubble seal.
  • Observe as the dry ice sublimates and inflates the bubble seal.
  • If time, give each student a balloon.
  • Add a dry ice pellet to the balloon and tie it to seal quickly.
  • They dry ice will inflate the balloon!

What Happened?

Dry ice is carbon dioxide (CO2) in its solid form. At temperatures above -56.4 °C (-69.5 °F), dry ice changes directly from a solid to a gas, without ever being a liquid. This process is called sublimation. When dry ice is put in water it accelerates the sublimation process, creating clouds of fog that fill up your dry ice bubble until the pressure becomes too much and the bubble explodes, spilling fog over the edge of the bowl. Dry ice is sometimes used as part of theater productions and performances to create a dense foggy effect. It is also used to preserve food, freeze lab samples and even to make ice cream!

Planet Distances

What You Need:

  • Receipt paperSolar-system
  • Meter sticks
  • Measurement printout sheets

PlanetDistances100

What Do You Do?

  • Talk about “to scale” distances with the group.
  • Explain how we will use the receipt paper to label the planet distances from the sun (and each other).
  • Give each group of students a pre-cut piece of measuring tape and the distance printout sheet.
  • Each group should start by drawing the Sun at one end of the tape, then measure distances from there with the meter stick, marking each planet on the receipt paper.
  • When finished, each group should have a “to scale” distance of the planets listed on their receipt paper.

What Happened?

This activity helps demonstrate the immense scale of our solar system. The sizes of the planets vary greatly as do the distances between planets and their distance from the Sun.