Unfortunately we’ve fallen off the band wagon of keeping up with the Girls Science Club activities, but I’m going to give a recap of what we’ve done over the last semester.
Sound Waves: The girls got to see some awesome visualizations of sound by seeing salt fall into the pattern of sound waves on drums, playing with a tuning fork, and then finishing up by making their own guitars. The concert at the end was adorable.
Bath Salts: We brought bath salts and put them in bags where we let the girls color them using food dye. Then we had them dissolve all of the bath salts in water to see what happened and watch them change phases. It ended up leading to some pretty wonderful arrays of colorful water. They got really excited about this one and wanted to try regular salt too.
Potato Battery: This was an excellent activity. We brought in wires, batteries, lights, and potatoes and showed the girls how to make circuits. They were so excited by the lights. We also had them add in pennies to the circuit to help them understand that the metal is what conducts the electricity. They got really into the potatoes and using those instead of the batteries to turn on the smaller lights.
Building Bridges: During this activity the girls built their own bridges out of various materials like toothpicks, paper, and marshmallows and then tested how many pennies they could hold.
DNA extraction: First we had them play a game where each of them was a nucleotide (A, T, C, or G) and had to get in the proper order to code a certain protein. Each of those proteins would be used to create/reveal a different eye color. We also had them extract their own DNA by adding soap to their saliva and seeing the strands of DNA conglomerate. It worked alright, but they did get some interesting facts from it and the game was pretty successful.
Color Wheel: The girls got to experiment with different colors on a color wheel and see how they blended and changed as the wheel spun around.
Sun and Weather: This was the first activity run by a new mentor and it went really well! It was a little difficult to get girls as this was the first week after not being there for 2 weeks, but we got a good group. Esther lead a really run demo with a heat lamp and globe explaining seasons and showing them the effect of clouds on heat from the sun. The goal was to get them to understand the tilt of the earth and different seasons.
Soil Erosion: This was the epitome of a dirty experiment. The girls got to get their hands dirty in soil from Angela’s garden. They built little watersheds in half water bottles and ran water down them. They saw the difference between when there was and wasn’t grass and how the grass helped to hold the soil in place. It worked really well! They also built little houses out of gum drops and toothpicks and saw that they stayed in place better with the grass and fell over into our bucket when they were just on soil. They definitely seemed to get the concept that vegetation holds everything in place!