Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sink or Swim

This class could have been longer!  The experiment was super engaging, and the SciGirls could have worked on it for hours :)

Here's what we did:

We started out by watching Aquabots.

The challenge today, was to build an object that achieved neutral buoyancy.  It needed to float in the middle of a big cup, neither floating to the top or sinking to the bottom.  It was really challenging!  Although there was a lot of great collaboration, and really great ideas, none of the groups were able to achieve neutral buoyancy.  I let them know that when we did this experiment during SciGirls training, none of the adults (a room full of science teachers!), could do it either.  We had a great discussion about what they could have used to properly complete the challenge.  Ideas included thin foam paper and salt.

This would be a great challenge to continue working on at home!  If your SciGirl successfully completes this task, please post about it in the comments below!  I know it can be done...
For the second half of class, the girls tested their own personal buoyancy at a water park!  It was really fun.  Everyone was smiling :)

Next month the girls will do their annual service project, and experiment with multi-tasking.

SciGirls 2016-17 planning is underway!  
We should have registration forms out for current class members by the May meeting :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Breathing Room

"Dancing is a lot like science.  
Sometimes it doesn't go as planned, and that's okay."
(My favorite quote from today)

Wow, it was really hard to sit on the sidelines today while the girls moved their bodies with the fabulous teachers from Eclectic Edge Ensemble (EEE)!  By the end of class the girls were doing some fabulous jazz and modern dance.  More on that in a bit.  First of all, the science behind all of this...

As always, we started the class out with the SciGirls video that corresponds with the challenge of the day.

Afterwards, the girls broke in to pairs, and received the challenge: How does the amount of air in a balloon change as you vary the size of the hold you blow through?  Using just their mouths and a balloon, they tested their lung capacity, and then went through the same procedure breathing into a balloon through a straw.  Some girls tried other factors, such as testing their lung capacity after running around a bit.  Interesting results!  Lots of really strong lungs in our class (but we already knew that!).  When they were done, they presented their findings to the group.

After lunch, we had three dance teachers from EEE come to give our SciGirls a workout!  It was such a great experience in team building, confidence boosting, and friendship.  The experience was very positive.  It was really fun to see the girls come out of their shells as they did some improvisational dance along with the jazz and modern dance.  Here are a few pictures:

And the final product (Squeee!  I love this!!!):


Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Case of the Missing Diamonds

A crime has been committed!

Today our super sleuths had a crime to solve, The Case of the Missing Diamonds!  Someone stole diamonds from a jewelry store, and it was up to our SciGirls to analyze data from four suspects to solve the crime.  

As always, we watched the corresponding SciGirls episode, Super Sleuths, first.

Afterwards, the girls broke into groups and learned all about the suspects in question and the case background.

The girls did a fabric analysis, dusted for fingerprints, fumed for fingerprints, ink chromatography, and analyzed  blood samples (fake blood, created in a lab, of course!!).  

It was so fantastic!!  Almost everyone guessed who the culprit was :)

Ink chromatography 

Anti serum, blood samples, oh my!

Fuming for fingerprints

Messiest. Experiment. Ever.

Analyzing fiber samples

Stay tuned for next month, where the girls will learn all about their lungs, and get those bodies moving to demonstrate what they've learned!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Annual Holiday Party & Stage Makeup

It's the time of year, where we take a break from science and have a little holiday celebration!

This year, we went to Steppingstone Theater to see The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  It was pretty cute.

Afterwards, the girls gathered together with an artist to learn about stage makeup.  Keeping in tune with the season, the girls were given the challenge to give themselves a case of frostbite!  The had a demonstration, and then applied the makeup themselves.

Didn't they do a great job?!

When they were finished, they had a little gift exchange before leaving for the day.

It was so much fun!

Next month we'll be back into our regular routine, and will learn a bit about crime scene investigation!

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Light Bulb Challenge

Today we put the M in STEM, and the A in STEAM!

As always, we started out the day watching an episode of SciGirls.  This one was about garbage, and reusing to reduce the amount of trash going into the landfills.

The SciGirls used the first half of class to test the difference between compact fluorescent light bulbs and incandescent bulbs.  The challenge: Are incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs more energy efficient?  The broke into their groups, and got to work on their challenges.  They each received cooking oil, a dropper, paper, a ruler, thermometer, stopwatch, and a calculator.  Each station was set up with a lamp containing either a CFL or incandescent bulb.

After they were done experimenting and retesting, they presented their findings.

Here comes the M part of STEM:

They received a word problem that really helped demonstrate the results of their experiments.

When your neighbors go on vacation, they set a timer to turn on a lamp at 9 PM each night and turnit off at 6 AM each morning.  How much energy would this light use in two weeks if it used an incandescent bulb?  If it used a CFL bulb?

                        wattage of bulb = energy used
hours of use X          1000           (kilowatt-hours (kWh)

Our CFL bulb had 15W and the incandescent had 60W.
See if your girls can remember how to do this!  The results are pretty eye opening!

And the A in STEAM:

For part two of class, we had an artist from Art Scraps drop by with a LOT of reused art supplies.  The SciGirls spent an hour and a half creating, designing, and building.  So much fun!  It was so fun to see the girls personalities come out through their creations!

It was a great class!  Next month is our annual Christmas/holiday celebration!  Stay tuned to see what we were up to!  Hint:  Makeup!!!