Week 2: October 13th, 2010

3rd Grade Group
Last week we learned about physical changes, so this week we learned about chemical changes and chemical reactions.  We did two activities with baking soda and vinegar.  For the first activity, we combined baking soda and vinegar to watch their fizzy reaction.  The second activity used purple cabbage juice as an indicator of acids and bases. We added the juice to vinegar and saw by the color of the mixture that vinegar is acidic.  Next we added baking soda and watched as the mixture changed color, indicating that the mixture was now basic.

4th/5th Grade Group
This week we learned about surface tension.  First we went outside to do a trick with water. Because of surface tension, we were able to turn a cup of water upside down without any water spilling out!  For the next activity, we poured milk onto a plate, and then added a few drops of food coloring.  When we added a little dish soap to the mixture, the food coloring in the milk began to magically spread and swirl into beautiful patterns!  We learned that because milk is full of proteins, adding soap will change the proteins' shapes, which causes movement in the milk that we can see with the food coloring.

Week 1: October 6th, 2010

Today was our first day of Science Club for Girls!  The girls were all super excited about the start of the club.  Because of increased interest in the club, we now have two separate groups.  The first is for the 3rd grade, who will be doing a "Chemistry and Crystals" curriculum.  The second group is for 4th and 5th graders, who will be following the "Magic of Science" curriculum.  Before the start of each club, all students meet in the science room for a healthy snack provided by parents.

3rd Grade Group
Today we did an activity to learn about changes in state!  We learned about melting and the physical transition from solid to liquid.  In small groups, we melted crayons into a foil cup and then let them become solid again to make new crayons!

4th/ 5th Grade Group
Today we learned about inertia by performing the "magic" table cloth trick.  We made a place setting and were able to pull the table cloth out from underneath without moving a single item on the table!  We talked about Newton's Laws and how "an object in motion will remain in motion and at object at rest will remain at rest."

Week 3: October 27th, 2010

This week the 3rd and 4th grade science club joined forces to build home-made rockets!  After learning the basics of rocket building, we spent the rest of the session outdoors competing to see which team's rocket would launch the highest.  Our rockets were made by filling a film canister with an Alka-Seltzer tablet and water. The chemical reaction from the Alka-Seltzer mixing with water created a pressure build-up within the film canister.  Once enough pressure had built up, the canister was launched in the air! The girls did a great job determining the optimum combination of water and Alka-Seltzer for the highest rocket launch.