Monthly Archives: October 2014

Balloon Blow-Up

This week was incredibly cute. We had them blow up balloons using vinegar and baking soda. We talked about molecules and chemical reactions using different legos. They definitely got that we were combining a liquid and a solid and getting a gas (CO2), which was awesome. Some of the girls were really amazing and made some great observations! One realized that when the balloon expands, it gets colder!!
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We tried to do some other interesting experiments and had them try it with a larger water bottle and with different balloons.

It was pretty exciting!

This week, one of the girls who had never come before said that science was great and that we make it fun, which was really wonderful to hear. Our favorite quote though was from when I was trying to explain¬†what a molecule was. I asked them what they’re made of and one of them said blood and when I asked what that was made of, first someone said tomatoes, and then another girl said that it couldn’t be tomatoes, but it was definitely ketchup! We did eventually get to water and water molecules ūüôā


Invisible Ink!!

Last week we introduced our girls to the idea of a chemical reaction and acids and bases. It was really interesting to try to understand what they already knew about them in the context of foods. We used the example of grape juice, our acid, and baking soda solution, our base.

They then got paper, Q tips, and cotton balls. They wrote their secret messages on the paper with the baking soda solution and used the cotton balls to wipe some grape juice over their messages, creating a visible salt from the acid base reaction. It was really cute to see all of their messages and write messages to each other.
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The best part was when they started to get creative and wanted to see what would happen if they mixed both of them directly. We started our own little chemistry lab right in the West End House!
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Jello Earthquakes!!

Thursday was a sweet day full of marshmallows and jello galore. The girls were so excited, it was hard to contain them even though we did manage to keep them from eating the marshmallows until the end (which was not easy :).

Jamie showed them one video about earthquakes and another of buildings with different structures (one withe an extra earth quake proof base) being tested on shake tables. They loved the tests and had us play it twice. They then got marshmallows and toothpicks and made wonderful structures!

The girls had some great ideas!!
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The we tested them on our jello earth
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They seemed to learn a whole bunch!

Next week we’ll be learning about invisible ink!!

Lava Lamps! GSC’s First Activity!

Today we had our first Girls Science Club!! We were nervous going into it because we had been warned that many clubs aren’t¬†able to get a lot of students when they first started out. The Girls Science Club already existed, but we were starting it on Thursday, a new day, so¬†we didn’t know what to expect. At the last minute though, 9 excited girls came bouncing in, little balls of energy and filled the tables we had set up. We were so excited!¬†The girls were so loving and a few of them remembered me and Jamie from last semester and were really happy¬†to see us. Alandra gave me a running hug/jump and insisted that Jamie sit next to her.

We first introduced ourselves and told them what field we studied. So many of them were so curious and outspoken and asked a bunch of questions. We moved on to the activity and told them about density and buoyancy. They then each poured water and oil into water bottles and colored the water with food die, which stayed in the water since it’s water based. Then we added alka sentzer tablets to watch the colorful bubbles stream up through the oil!

Then they all drew pictures of their bottles. Finally, we went around the room and each of them told us one thing they learned. It was a wonderful experience and it’s only going to get better from here!!!!

I hope you join us next week!

Volunteer Introductory Meeting!!

Yesterday we had our first meeting for the Girls Science Club!! All of the new volunteers met at the West End House Boys and Girls Club (WEH) and Raechel Ratliff, our contact at the WEH, gave everyone a wonderful tour of the building.

We also met some of the girls at the current club and when we asked them what their favorite activities were that they wanted to do again, the second one they said is the one we planned for next week! Lava Lamps!

We are excited to get the Girls’ Science Club up and running this week! Our first session will be this Thursday, October 2 from 5:30-6:30 pm. When you arrive at the WEH, our classroom is the glass room directly to the right of the lobby. The activity for the day will be helping the girls make their ownLava Lamps!¬†Anyone who would like to volunteer should come at 5:15 pm to help set up and bring a Background Check Consent Forms¬†with them (required by the WEH).

We can’t wait!!