garden in a glove - North Carolina Science Festival

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THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
GARDEN IN A
GLOVE
BIG IDEA
Explore what seeds need to grow
by “planting” 5 different kinds of
seeds.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• disposable gloves
• permanent markers
• cotton balls
• containers for water
• 5 different kinds of seeds
• popsicle sticks
• pipe cleaners
• Garden in a Glove
instructions
Stuff you provide:
• scissors
• water
• paper towels
• copies of the At-Home guide
• optional: paper
• optional: markers
IF THEY LOVE IT
Encourage families to create
a journal to track the growth
and changes in their seeds
over the next couple weeks.
Categories families may want
to consider including are: seed,
date, observation, and a space to
include a drawing or photo.
1
FUN OPTIONS
During Science Night
Provide additional types of seeds for families to
choose from when planting their Garden in a Glove,
like herbs or wildflowers.
SET IT UP
Cut the pipe cleaners in half and fill the containers
half-full with water. Lay out the materials in order
from left to right: disposable gloves, markers, cotton
balls, water, seeds, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, AtHome guide. Place the Garden in a Glove instructions
on the table. It’s a good idea to make your own
Garden in a Glove as an example. This way the
students can see the finished product, and you get a
chance to make sure you understand the instructions
as well as anticipate any issues children may face
when “planting” their gardens.
IT’S SHOWTIME
As families approach your table, ask them: What do
you think seeds need in order to grow into plants?
They will probably say things like water, sunlight
and dirt. Explain that most seeds only need water
and a warm place to begin to grow. Seeds have their
own food stored inside of them, a tissue rich in
starch and protein called endosperm, so they do not
need sunlight or nutrients from soil until they have
sprouted and developed roots. Help students “plant”
their Garden in a Glove according to the instructions.
Note: Younger children may have trouble getting
the cotton ball into specific fingers of the glove.
Encourage an adult or an older sibling to help them
by rolling down the top of the glove and holding it
open for them (just as if you were putting on a sock).
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
Most new plants begin their life cycle as seeds. While seeds come in many shapes
and sizes, they all pretty much serve the same function. Each seed contains a baby
plant that will start to grow under the right conditions. The first stage in seed growth
is called germination, which is when a tiny root(s) emerges from the outer seed
covering. After the root(s) emerge, the stem and leaves begin to grow upward. Once a
seed has germinated, the tiny growing plant is usually called a seedling.
There are several external factors which can effect seed germination. The most
important external factors include: temperature, water, oxygen and sometimes light
or darkness. Common garden seeds, like those used in this activity, germinate with
water and warmth.
TAKE IT BACK THE CLASSROOM
The Garden in a Glove activity is a great way to explore and experiment with
variables. If you would like to do a more in-depth experiment, you could allow the
students to create the experiment and choose which factors or variables to test.
Half the group could store their gloves in a dark place and the other half in a sunny
location, or a warm vs. cold location. Students could also hypothesize which seed
will germinate the quickest. As a group, create a list of different variables that you
could explore. Then, choose one or two variables from the list to test. Set up your
experiment (light vs. dark, warm vs. cold, which seed will grow quickest, etc.). Decide
how long to give your experiment. Give the students a proposed timeline for their
experiments—for example, checking the Gardens next week. When the time has
passed, check on the Gardens that were tested. Go over the results with the students.
The seeds should germinate in light or dark, with water, and in a warm environment.
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
© 2012,
The University
ofto
North
Carolina
Chapel Hill.
All rights
reserved.
Permission
is granted
duplicate
for at
educational
purposes
only.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
BUILD-A-BUBBLE
BIG IDEA
Explore properties of soapy
water and surface tension by
blowing bubbles!
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• Dawn dish soap
• aluminum pans
2
SET IT UP
Mix Dawn dish soap and water together in a large
container, like a bucket or mixing bowl, to create
a bubble solution. There’s no magic formula; a lot
depends on the humidity and temperature of the day.
If the water in your area is very hard, you may have
better results with purchasing distilled water. A basic
ratio to start with is 1 part Dawn to 4 parts water.
Measure the water first, and then slowly stir soap into
the water. If the solution gets too frothy, allow it to
settle before using it.
Stuff you provide:
Pour some bubble solution into the aluminum
pans (about ½ full) and save the rest in your
mixing container – you’ll probably have to top it off
throughout the event. Set out pipe cleaners, straws,
string, scissors and Bubble Challenge sheet. It’s
a good idea to have paper towels on hand for this
activity.
• water
IT’S SHOWTIME
• large mixing container
Show students that they can blow bubbles with their
hands as long as their hands are wet. They simply
need to dip one or both of their hands into the bubble
solution, then form a circle with their fingers and
blow through it. Then, give them a single pipe cleaner
and ask them to construct a bubble wand. Show them
the challenge sheet and see what kind of bubbles they
can create. You can also encourage them to use the
straws to blow bubbles within bubbles. The string can
be used to make wands that will create larger bubbles.
Start with two straws. Take a piece of string (about
4 times the length of one of the straws) and thread it
through both straws. Then, tie the ends of the string
together. Dip everything into the bubble solution.
Using the straws as handles, pull the two straws apart
from each other, forming a rectangle frame. Carefully
pull the frame out of the bubble solution and wave it
through the air. As you pull it through the air slowly
flip the frame up or down to release the bubble. This
will take a little practice.
• pipe cleaners
• straws
• string
• Bubble Challenges
• paper towels
• scissors
• optional:
additional supplies
for creating bubble
wands (hangers,
plastic soda rings,
funnels, etc.)
IF THEY LOVE IT
Challenge students to
build a bubble wand that
blows square (cube-shaped)
bubbles. It can be done!
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
From physics to geometry to light to color to reflection and dish soap chemistry,
bubbles are full of science! Bubbles are made of a very thin film of soap and water
with a gas inside. The bubbles we’re blowing are full of air, but they can be made with
any kind of gas. You can picture a bubble like a balloon – it’s a thin, stretchy skin
surrounding a pocket of gas.
A single bubble that’s not touching any other bubbles will always be round, because
a sphere (or ball shape) contains the most gas (air) using the least amount of surface
area (soap film). But once a bubble touches other bubbles, it changes shape, because
they form a common wall where they touch. Bubbles touching each other create
angles of 120 degrees, no matter how big the bubbles are or how many there are.
Think about a beehive: the beeswax is arranged in hexagons, with angles of 120
degrees. Just like the beehive, bubbles arrange themselves in a hexagonal pattern
that conserves surface area (soap film or beeswax).
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
This fun activity uses bubbles to make an artistic print and also teaches some
mathematics along the way! Directions are available online at:
http://chemistry.about.com/od/bubbles/a/bubbleprints.htm
Students add paint to bubbles and make a print, giving them a chance to be creative
by making different bubble designs and mixing colors. Once the prints are dry,
students can practice using protractors to measure the angle where bubble walls
meet. The class can collect data from everyone’s bubble print, and then graph the
data to see if they confirm that the angle is always 120 degrees.
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
GROSS GOO
BIG IDEA
Mixing together some basic
household chemicals makes a
fun, squishy goo.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• Borax
• glue
• plastic cups
• sealable plastic bags
• pipettes
• food coloring
3
SET IT UP
Ahead of time, mix 2 different solutions using the
following recipes found on the instruction card.
You may need to make more of these mixtures
throughout the night depending on attendance.
Set out the materials in order on the table, from
left to right: sealable plastic bags, glue solution
with pipettes, food coloring, Borax solution with
pipettes. You may want to create an assembly line
set up with one volunteer in charge of the
plastic bags and glue solution and the
other in charge of food coloring and
the Borax solution. It’s a good idea to
make a trial batch of Gross Goo before
the event begins. This way you can
make any adjustments necessary.
• Gross Goo instructions
IT’S SHOWTIME
Stuff you provide:
As families approach your table, let them know
that they will be combining 2 solutions in a bag
and will get to find out what happens when they
mix them together. Encourage guardians to help
by holding the bags open for younger students.
Help them mix up a batch of Gross Goo according
to the instructions. You may need to show students
how to use a pipette – squeeze the bulb and slowly
release to fill. A completely full pipette is 7mL.
• 2–4 clean, empty 2-liter soda
bottles with a cap
• 1-cup measuring cup
• water
• wet wipes or paper towels
FUN OPTIONS
Ahead of time
If you want, you can provide
glitter to mix in to the goo, or
a safe, non-toxic fluorescent
solution made from hi-lighter
ink. These should be added
to the glue and water solution
before adding Borax.
Students can open their bags and touch the goo,
but be aware that the food coloring can stain. Let
the students know that their goo will stay good
as long as they store it in their sealed bag.
IF THEY LOVE IT
Supplies permitting, students can try a second goomixture, varying the amounts of the solutions to see
how it changes the final result.
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
The goo is a polymer, a substance made of long chains of molecules. These long
chains of molecules link together, but are flexible. This gives the goo its sticky,
stretchy quality. Notice that goo has properties of both a liquid (can change shape
to fit its container) and solid (can be picked up and squeezed). It is these chains of
molecules that give the goo its contradictory characteristics.
Many polymers are flexible plastics, like balloons, plastic water bottles, and the soles
of your sneakers. Some polymers, like a skateboard wheel, are strong and hard, yet
flexible enough to absorb shocks and allow for a smooth ride. Other polymers, like
chewing gum or the slimy goop you just made (which contains mostly water), are
fluid and stretchy.
How did you make a polymer? Combining the borax and glue mixtures caused a
chemical reaction. By themselves, glue molecules move about freely (until they dry).
But when you add borax, it binds the slippery glue molecules together in a web, so
they can’t move around as much. Borax turns the watery glue into a denser, more
rubbery substance.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
You and your students can make and play with another kind of goo that also has
properties of both a liquid and a solid. This is a messy activity, so do it outdoors or
lay down lots of newspaper. Commonly known as oobleck, this is easy to make with
1.5-2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water. Mix small amounts of the cornstarch into the
water until it is all dissolved, and then play with your oobleck! It flows and stirs like
a liquid, but if you hit it, it feels like a solid. If you fill a kiddie pool with oobleck,
you can actually run across the surface of the substance because your running feet
hit it hard enough to make it behave like a solid. Good instructions and a video are
available here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Oobleck/
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
INVISIBLE INK
BIG IDEA
Write a secret message while
experimenting with acids and
bases.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• goldenrod paper
• vinegar
• baking soda
• cotton swabs
• pH chart
• plastic cups
• trays
• plastic spoon
• Invisible Ink instructions
Stuff you provide:
• water
• scissors
• paper towels
• garbage bag
SET IT UP
Cut the sheets of goldenrod
paper in halves or quarters.
Place an instruction sheet
and 3 cups on each tray. Fill
the cups about ½ full with the
corresponding liquids. For the
baking soda solution, fill the cup
1/2 full with water then add 1
teaspoon of baking soda. Stir the
solution to dissolve the baking
soda. Place a bunch of cotton
swabs in a cup, for each tray.
4
FUN OPTIONS
During Science Night
Create a reusable secret message. Mix some of the
baking soda solution in a spray bottle. Make another
spray bottle with vinegar. Use a yellow crayon to write
a message on the goldenrod paper. Then, spray the
paper with the baking soda solution, this will reveal
the message. To conceal the message, spray the paper
with vinegar. The wax from the crayon protects the
surface of the paper, so that the message can be used
over and over again.
IT’S SHOWTIME
As families approach your table, give them each a
sheet of goldenrod paper and direct them to a tray.
Encourage them to explore how each of the liquids
reacts with the paper. They should use a different
cotton swab for each liquid.
Explain that they are drawing with chemical
reactions. Chemical reactions are the heart of
chemistry. There are different kinds of evidence
(things you can see or feel) of a chemical reaction.
Typically there is a change in color, smell,
temperature, or production of a gas. In this case, there
was a change in color.
Ask guests if they know any examples of chemicals
called acids (i.e. vinegar, lemon juice) or bases (i.e.
baking soda, ammonia). Explain that they are creating
their own artwork by testing how acids and bases
react with the paper (bases will cause the goldenrod
paper to turn red; acids will cause it to remain
yellow); therefore, the paper is an indicator.
IF THEY LOVE IT
Guests may also use the base (baking soda solution)
to “draw,” and then use the acid (vinegar) to “erase.”
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
The goldenrod paper contains a pigment that changes color when it comes in contact
with certain chemicals called bases. The baking soda solution is a base, and causes
the paper to change in color from gold to red. This chemical reaction can be reversed
if an acid, such as vinegar is added. No color change occurred when water was added
because water is neither an acid nor a base.
The pH scale goes between 0 – 14. Acids are substances with a pH below 7; the lower
the number, the stronger the acid. Acids include citrus juices, vinegar, and stronger
acids such as hydrochloric acids (those in the stomach). Acids cause goldenrod
paper to remain yellow. Bases are substances with a pH above 7; the higher the
number, the stronger the base. Bases include baking soda, soap/detergent, ammonia,
and chalk. Bases cause goldenrod paper to turn red.
NORTH CAROLINA CONNECTION
In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh sent a group of pioneers under the command of John
White, to establish a foothold in the New World. These pioneers landed on Roanoke
Island and established the Roanoke Colony, the first English Colony in the New
World. Sometime between 1587 and 1590, the entire colony seemingly vanished.
There was no sign of a struggle or battle, and what happened to the settlement and
its inhabitants has never been discovered.
As the fate of the final group of colonists has never been determined, people have
been left to wonder just what happened to them. Stories about the “Lost Colony” have
circulated for more than 400 years. In the 21st century, as archaeologists, historians
and scientists continue to work to resolve the mystery a clue may have emerged…in
the form of invisible ink!
The discovery came from a watercolor map in the British Museum’s permanent
collection that was drawn by John White. The map was incredibly detailed and
accurate, but contained two small patches of paper affixed to the surface of the map.
For centuries it was thought that these patches were just corrections to the map, a
technique used in map making at the time. In May 2012, the British Museum revealed
that they had discovered a symbol of a fort beneath one of the patches of paper
believed to be written in invisible ink. This discovery has led researchers to question
if the Roanoke Colony settlers went, or intended to go, to that location. Though the
map doesn’t provide definite answers about what happened to the Lost Colony, it
does give researchers a new place to look for clues.
For more information about the First Colony, check out:
http://www.firstcolonyfoundation.org
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
SOUND
SANDWICH
BIG IDEA
Build a wooden noisemaker and
discover why we can hear and
sometimes feel sound.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• jumbo popsicle sticks
• big rubber bands
• little rubber bands
• straws
• Sound Sandwich instructions
Stuff you provide:
• scissors
FUN OPTIONS
During Science Night
Ask kids if they can play a
recognizable song on their
sound sandwich. It’s hard for
one person to do it, but see
what happens if each person
sets his or her sandwich to play
a different note. Kids can work
together to play a simple song
like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little
Star” if they each have one note
to play.
5
SET IT UP
Cut the straws into pieces a little longer than the
width of the jumbo popsicle sticks (1-1 ½ inches
long). Lay out the materials in order from left to right:
jumbo popsicle sticks, big rubber bands, straws, little
rubber bands. Place the instructions out on the table.
It’s a good idea to make your own Sound Sandwich
as an example. This way the students can see the
finished product, and you get a chance to make sure
you understand the instructions as well as anticipate
any issues children may have assembling their Sound
Sandwich.
IT’S SHOWTIME
Help students build their Sound Sandwich according
to the instructions. Younger children may have
difficulty wrapping the small rubber bands around the
ends of the popsicle sticks. Encourage their guardian
or an older sibling to help them with this part. Once
they are built, encourage them to experiment with
their Sound Sandwich.
Note: Things to look for if a Sound Sandwich isn’t
making noise –
1. Check to make sure the large rubber band is
around only one of the popsicle sticks – not both.
2. Make sure the rubber bands on the ends are
wrapped tightly, pressing the two popsicle sticks
together.
3. Watch to see that they are blowing air between
the two popsicle sticks – not into the straws.
IF THEY LOVE IT
Supplies permitting, encourage families to make
alterations to their Sound Sandwich, like adding
more straw pieces, rubber bands, or popsicle sticks.
Participants could create a double or even tripledecker Sound Sandwich. How do the changes affect
their Sound Sandwich?
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
In order to understand how musical instruments create sound, you need to know a
little bit about the physics of sound waves. Sound is the vibration, or back-and-forth
movement, of air particles. We hear sound when those vibrations hit our eardrums.
All sound is created by vibration, but not all vibrations are made in the same way.
You can make vibrations by hitting something (like a drum, or stomping your
foot), by plucking something (like a guitar string), or by using your breath to make
vibrations in a column of air (like playing the flute, or a horn).
In the Sound Sandwich, what’s vibrating? The big rubber band sandwiched between
the two popsicle sticks. When you blow through the sound sandwich, you force air
through the space created by the straws, and that air makes the big rubber band
vibrate. The movement of the rubber band makes the air move, and that movement of
air is what we hear as sound.
Sound can have pitch, meaning how high or low it sounds. Moving the straws closer
together makes the pitch higher, because a shorter portion of the rubber band is
vibrating. Moving the straws farther apart makes the pitch lower, because a longer
portion is vibrating. Think about big instruments versus small ones: the double bass
makes much lower sounds than the violin, and the tuba is much deeper than the
trumpet. A longer vibration makes a lower sound.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
Challenge your students to create a homemade orchestra! Using classroom crafting
supplies and items they bring from home, like plastic bottles, shoeboxes, or dried
beans, see how many different kinds of instruments they can make. The internet
is full of ideas for building your own instrument. The real challenge is to use those
instruments to play a tune that sounds good!
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
MARSHMALLOW
TOWERS
BIG IDEA
In engineering, all shapes are
not equal. Use simple building
materials to investigate which
shapes are the strongest.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• stale mini-marshmallows
• toothpicks
• Kelvin the Robot stuffed toy
6
IT’S SHOWTIME
Encourage families to build structures using
marshmallows to connect toothpicks. Once they
have built on their own for a while, you can point
out the shape diagrams and suggest that they build
triangles and squares and see where that
takes them. Suggest that families add on
to a communal effort to build a really
giant tower. Kelvin the Robot will be the
test for stability. Challenge families to
see if they can build something that
supports his weight.
• Marshmallow Challenges
IF THEY LOVE IT
• Marshmallow Shapes
Encourage families to check out the challenges and
try to build:
Stuff you provide:
• Nothing else
• the tallest tower
• the tower with the narrowest base
SET IT UP
Set out the mini-marshmallows
and toothpicks on your
table or floor space. Set out
Marshmallow Challenges and
Marshmallow Shapes diagrams
- think about taping these down
so they don’t wander off. Put the
Kelvin the Robot stuffed toy in a
safe place until some structures
have been built.
FUN OPTIONS
Ahead of time
You can also buy small
gumdrops (like Dots) or colored
toothpicks to make the towers
more colorful.
• a bridge
• a structure that adds onto someone else’s building
• a building with a hole big enough for your arm to fit
through
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
This is engineering! Comparing the stability and weight-bearing ability of different
shapes is what engineers do. A triangle is the most stable shape that can be made
with straight lines, because when pressure is added to one point, the corners (or
vertices) stay at the same angle and the triangle doesn’t change shape. In contrast,
pressure added to one corner (vertex) of a square will squish the square, changing
its shape. This means that squares aren’t as good for building strong supports. It is
easy to see triangles in structures such as power-line pylons, radio towers, and some
bridges.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
This fun activity takes geometry and shapes commonly used for construction outside
to the playground. Take a geometry tour with your students or send them on a
geometric shape scavenger hunt. Activity directions are available online at:
http://www.exploratorium.edu/geometryplayground/Activities/GP_
OutdoorActivities/GeometryScavengerHunt.pdf
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
FINGERPRINTS
BIG IDEA
Explore the 3 main fingerprint
patterns and discover which
type(s) you have.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• Fingerprint Patterns sheet
• ink pads
• white latex balloons (caution:
allergy warning)
7
IT’S SHOWTIME
As families approach your table ask them look at the
tip of one of their fingers. Ask: Can you see any lines
on your fingertip? Explain that those lines that make
up the pattern of their fingerprints are called friction
ridges. Forensic scientists classify these patterns into
three different types: whorl, arch, and loop. Direct
the families to the enlarged images of each type of
fingerprint pattern. Explain the characteristics of
each type of print:
• Whorl – ridges form a circular pattern
• Arch – ridges form a hill or tent-shaped pattern
• magnifying glasses
• Loop – ridges form an elongated loop pattern
• hand wipes
Let them know that they are going to have the
opportunity to take a closer look at their fingerprint
and determine which type it is. To do this they will
carefully roll one finger on the ink pad and then
transfer the print to the surface of a balloon. Rolling
their finger from one side to the other works best to
evenly coat it with ink and transfer the print. Caution
them to not press too hard or they might smudge
their fingerprint. Once they have transferred their
fingerprint they may blow up their balloon – this will
enlarge the print so that they can see it more easily
and determine its pattern. When they are finished,
they may use a hand wipe to remove the ink from
their finger(s).
Stuff you provide:
• paper
• garbage bag
SET IT UP
Set out the ink pads, balloons
and hand wipes on your table.
Display the pictures of different
fingerprint types where they can
be easily seen. You may want to
tape these down to the table or
on a wall.
FUN OPTIONS
During Science Night
Offer a twist on traditional
fingerprint art ­— provide
additional art supplies like
paper, crayons and markers and
encourage families to create a
fingerprint family portrait.
Fun Fact: Loops are the most common type of
fingerprint; on average 65% of all fingerprints are
loops. Approximately 30% of all fingerprints are
whorls, and arches only occur about 5% of the time.
IF THEY LOVE IT
Allow participants to make impressions of other
fingerprints on a sheet of paper. Most people should
have some combination of the different fingerprint
patterns among their 10 fingers.
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
Every person has tiny raised ridges of skin on the inside surfaces of their hands and
fingers and on the bottom surfaces of their feet and toes, known as ‘friction ridge
skin’. The friction ridges provide a gripping surface - in much the same way that the
tread pattern of a car tire does. No two people have exactly the same arrangement
of ridge patterns – not even identical twins who share the same DNA! Although
the exact number, shape, and spacing of the ridges changes from person to person,
fingerprints can be sorted into three general categories based on their pattern type:
loop, arch, and whorl.
During the third to fourth month of fetal development, ridges are formed on the
epidermis, which is the outermost layer of skin, on your fingertips. Fingerprints are
static and do not change with age, so an individual will have the same fingerprint
from infancy to adulthood. The pattern changes size, but not shape, as the person
grows (just like the fingerprint on the balloon in this activity). Since each person has
unique fingerprints that do not change over time, they can be used for identification.
For example, forensic scientists use fingerprints to determine whether a particular
individual has been at a crime scene. Fingerprints have been collected, observed and
tested as a means of unique identification of persons for more than 100 years.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
Measure how your students’ fingerprints compare to the national population. Have
students analyze their fingerprints to determine each pattern type. Then, create a
graph showing the distribution of different patterns within your class. A version of
this activity can be found online at:
http://forensics.rice.edu/en/materials/activity_ten.pdf
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
MY GENES
BRACELET
BIG IDEA
8
SET IT UP
See what traits you have
and represent them with a
personalized bracelet showing
your genes.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• 12 colors of pony beads
• pipecleaners
• My Genes trait cards
Stuff you provide:
• optional: mirror
SET IT UP
Lay out the trait cards in the
order shown in diagram. Open
each container of beads and
place the corresponding colors
below each of the trait cards. Put
the pipe cleaners on the left side
of the table. Imagine the table as
a buffet where participants start
at the left and work their way to
the right, adding beads to their
pipe cleaners as they go.
FUN OPTIONS
Ahead of time
Order PTC testing papers and
add another trait: tasting or
non-tasting ability. Create a
chart of the different traits and
have people fill in which they
are. In general, are there more
people with dominant traits?
IT’S SHOWTIME
When families approach the table, give them each
a pipe cleaner and tell them they’re going to figure
out what genes they have inside their bodies by
looking at some cool traits on their outsides. Have
participants look at the pictures on each trait card
and decide which trait they have, and then add a bead
of the corresponding color to their pipe cleaner. They
should end up with six beads representing their six
traits. They can twist the pipe cleaner around their
wrist and wear it as a bracelet.
Encourage students to compare their bracelets with
their family members and friends. See if you can lead
them to notice that there are usually more similarities
within families.
IF THEY LOVE IT
Ask students to compare their traits to their parents’.
Explain how dominant and recessive traits work. Ask
students if they can figure out how their traits came
from their parents’ traits. Obviously, be sensitive to
non-traditional family compositions – we don’t want
to upset anyone.
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
Each of these traits is controlled by a single gene, meaning that the trait you show
on the outside is the simple result of your two copies of the gene on the inside. You
have two copies of every gene, one from your mother and one from your father. These
copies are called alleles. Alleles can be dominant or recessive. A dominant allele
will always be visible in your traits, even if your other allele is recessive. So the only
way you can show a recessive trait is to have two recessive alleles. This means we
expect more people to show dominant traits, since there are two ways you can show a
dominant trait – by having two dominant alleles or by having one dominant and one
recessive allele. Interestingly, two parents who both have a dominant trait can have
a child with a recessive trait – if both parents had one dominant and one recessive
allele, there is a ¼ chance that the child will end up getting the recessive allele from
both parents, and will therefore show a recessive trait. However, there is no way for
two parents who both have a recessive trait to have a child who shows a dominant
trait.
Note: Although these traits are commonly used for activities like this one, there is
some debate about whether all of them are actually controlled by a single gene. There
are exceptions to every rule; however, we still think it’s worthwhile to do this activity
and learn a bit more about our genes.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
There is a wealth of information about single-gene traits and gene inheritance on the
internet. Gregor Mendel was a monk who experimented with pea plants to discover
how this kind of gene inheritance works. Use search terms like “Mendel”, “pea
plants”, “Mendelian genetics”, “Punnett Square”, and “mono-hybrid cross” to find
these resources.
Here is a lesson plan about Mendel’s pea plants, which you can scale to fit your time
frame and your students’ comprehension level.
http://www.lessonplansinc.com/lessonplans/mendel_pea_plants_ws.pdf
Here is a worksheet on Punnett Squares that uses the pea plants:
http://www.lessonplansinc.com/lessonplans/pea_plant_punnett_squares_ws.pdf
… and here are two fun variations on Punnett Squares that use SpongeBob
Squarepants characters.
http://sciencespot.net/Media/gen_spbobgenetics.pdf
http://sciencespot.net/Media/gen_spbobgenetics2.pdf
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
PAPER FLYING
MACHINES
BIG IDEA
It doesn’t have to look like an
airplane in order to fly! Build
different flying machines to
experiment with the 4 forces of
flight.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
9
IT’S SHOWTIME
Lay out flying machine instructions, paper,
straws, index cards, tape, and scissors
on table. Use masking tape to define
a runway on the ground and use the
tape measure or yard stick to mark
distances.
• straws
IT’S SHOWTIME
• index cards
Encourage families to have fun making and flying
their paper flying machines. Instructions are included
for Straw Gliders and Whirligigs, and they can use
the instructions or create their own designs. They can
test how far the Straw Gliders fly using the runway,
and see how accurately they can aim the gliders.
Whirligigs spin rather than fly, but families can use
the stopwatches (or their own smart phones!) to see
how long they stay in the air.
• masking tape
• transparent tape
• Flying Machine instructions
Stuff you provide:
• paper
• scissors
• tape measure or yard stick
• optional: stopwatches
FUN OPTIONS
Ahead of time
Provide markers and other art
supplies for children to use to
decorate their Flying Machines.
During Science Night
Challenge them to invent their
own flying machine design and
teach it to someone else.
IF THEY LOVE IT
Challenge families to adapt the designs – what’s the
biggest Straw Glider they can make that still works?
What happens if they add more loops to the Straw
Glider? What’s the craziest Whirligig design that will
spin? Try moving the location of the notches on the
Whirligig, or cutting the ends of the strip into points.
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
In order to fly, a flying machine has to overcome the force of gravity. The earth’s
gravity pulls things down, so these flying machines have to take advantage of other
forces that temporarily override gravity’s pull. Lift is a force created by air flowing
over the curved surfaces of the Straw Glider’s paper loops, and thrust is the force
given to the glider when you throw it. Both lift and thrust help keep the flying
machine in the air. Drag is the resistance met when the machine moves through the
air; it slows forward motion, which reduces lift. So if lift and thrust are stronger than
drag and gravity, the machine will fly.
NORTH CAROLINA CONNECTION
North Carolina is the “First in Flight” state because the Wright brothers flew the
first sustained, powered, heavier-than-air human flight in Kill Devil Hills in 1903.
The Wright brothers’ achievement began aviation as we know it today. People have
always been fascinated with the idea of flying. While flying machines like these Straw
Gliders and Whirligigs wouldn’t work to carry people, they help demonstrate that
there are a huge variety of shapes that will fly.
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
PARACHUTES
BIG IDEA
Build and design a parachute
with a few simple household
materials.
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• napkins (2 different sizes)
• string
• stickers
• rulers
• paperclips (2 different sizes)
• masking tape
10
SET IT UP
Use masking tape to create a bull’s-eye type target
on the ground. Start with the center ring about
the size of a paper plate and move outward in
concentric rings. Make each new ring a foot or so
larger than the previous. The target should consist
of 3 or 4 rings. You may choose to provide additional
targets depending on space available. Lay out the
materials in order from left to right: string, rulers,
scissors, napkins, stickers and paperclips. Place
the instructions on the table. It’s a good idea to
make your own parachute beforehand. This way the
students can see the finished product, and you get a
chance to make sure you understand the instructions
as well as anticipate any issues children may face
when constructing and testing their parachutes.
• small Post-it notes
Stuff you provide:
• scissors
• markers
FUN OPTIONS
Ahead of time
If you want, you can provide
additional materials like coffee
filters, newspaper, tissue paper,
etc. Small plastic animals make
fun parachute passengers while
providing a little extra challenge
to the parachute design.
IT’S SHOWTIME
Challenge families to build a parachute and drop it so
that their passenger, a paperclip, lands as close to the
center of the target as possible. To help track where
parachutes land, ask each participant to put their
name or initials on a small post-it note – each time
they drop their parachute they can place the post-it
note where their paperclip landed. Show families how
to make a parachute according to the instructions.
Encourage them to explore different variables when
testing and building their parachutes. For example:
the height from which it is dropped, where they are
standing when they drop their parachute, the angle at
which it is released, the length of the strings, etc.
During Science Night
If you have an additional
volunteer, you can add a
ladder to the activity to make
the parachute launches more
dramatic. The volunteer can
“spot” children while on the
ladder to ensure their safety.
IF THEY LOVE IT
After participants have successfully built one
parachute, challenge them to change things (one
thing at a time!) to see how it impacts the flight of
their parachute.
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
When you throw something into the air, like your parachute, it falls because the
force of gravity pulls it to the ground. As something falls or moves through the air
it experiences another force called drag, which is caused by the air pushing back
against that object. Have you ever put your hand outside a car window as it was
moving? The air rushing past the car pushes your hand backwards. Drag slows the
object down and the more drag, the slower the object will move. As a parachute falls,
the part that fills with air is called the canopy. A parachute works because air gets
trapped in the canopy which increases the force of drag on the parachute, slowing its
descent to the earth. Successful parachutes will increase drag enough to allow the
object to land safely.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
Challenge your students to a classic egg drop experiment. Students will need to
design a system that protects a raw egg from a significant fall. An egg drop is a
fun and dramatic way to get students involved in engineering. With this activity,
students will gain the ability to design a product (a container), evaluate the product,
and communicate the process of design modification. An egg drop can be related to
anything from the air bags in a car to landing a rover on Mars!
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
RUNAWAY MARBLES
BIG IDEA
Experiment with the forces of
motion by constructing a track
that will send a marble soaring
through the air!
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• foam insulation tube
• masking tape
• marbles
Stuff you provide:
• 2 chairs
• 2 clean, empty milk jugs or
coffee tins
FUN OPTIONS
Ahead of time
Get extra tubing, available at
any home improvement store,
and build a track that forks, or
one with a loop-the-loop!
IF THEY LOVE IT
Once a group successfully lands
the marble in the target, move
the target back a little. Challenge
families to get their marble to
jump the furthest distance. What
do they need to change about their
track to make the marble jump
farther?
11
SET IT UP
Take a look at the set-up diagram on the back of this
guide. You will be creating two set-ups side by side.
Use masking tape to attach one end of the foam tube
to a wall or the back of a chair. Prepare your targets:
cut off the top of the milk jugs, leaving the walls
between 3 and 8 inches tall. You may want to make
the two targets different heights so families get two
different challenges. Place the target on the ground
3-5 feet away from the wall or chair. Do a few test-runs
to make sure the marble is rolling smoothly down
the track and the target is in a reasonable place. You
will need to work with a partner to shape and aim
your track so that the marble rolls down the track and
jumps off the end. Try to set up the tracks so that the
runaway marbles are aimed away from people passing
by.
IT’S SHOWTIME
Challenge families to roll the marble down the track
and into the target. This activity will work best if
members of a group are responsible for different
jobs. Encourage group members to choose one of the
following roles:
• Marble Dropper – releases the marble at the top
of the track when the group is ready to test their
design.
• Marble Catcher – collect the marble once it leaves
the track (this will help control the number of
marbles rolling on the floor).
• Construction Crew – the track is flimsy and
flexible, the remaining members of the group will
support the track and create the shape and angle to
successfully land the marble in the target.
Encourage families to use observations they make
about how their marble is traveling to adjust the
shape of their track.
SET IT UP
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
We’re dealing with some basic physical forces: velocity, gravity, acceleration.
Participants should be able to see the marble’s trajectory, or path, through the air
and to make adjustments in the track that change the trajectory. Gravity pulls the
marbles down, but the velocity (which is both speed and direction) that the marbles
are traveling in when they leave the track allows them to resist dropping immediately
and gives them a chance to fly through the air and land in the target.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
Attach the two foam tubes together to make a very long track, and then add in a loopthe-loop! Ask your students to work together as a class to figure out how to give the
marble enough velocity to be able to complete the loop. Try using larger or heavier
marbles and see how that affects the jump. Or, change the parameters of the target.
Make it farther away, or with taller sides, or with a narrower opening. Follow up the
experimentation with a little bit of research into ski-jumps. Watch some skiing YouTube videos and talk about how the physical forces at work during ski-jumping are
the same as the forces affecting these runaway marbles.
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
STOMP ROCKETS
BIG IDEA
Stomp Rockets let you blast
rockets high into the air. And
you can make your own rockets!
YOU WILL NEED
What we gave you:
• Stomp Rocket, Jr.
• construction paper
• 2 wooden dowels
• transparent tape
• masking tape
Stuff you provide:
• scissors
FUN OPTIONS
Ahead of time
Provide foam sheets as
well as paper – the stiffness
makes for great fins and nose
cones, but the extra weight
does affect the flight.
12
SET IT UP
Set up the stomp rocket launcher according to
directions. Use masking tape to draw two or three
targets on the ground or on a wall, approximately
15-25 feet away. Each target should be about
5 feet away from other targets. The goal is to
provide a couple of different challenges.
Consider safety: aim all rockets away
from people passing by. Lay out
dowels, construction paper, scissors,
and cellophane tape on tables.
IT’S SHOWTIME
Show families how the stomp rocket works: place the
rocket on the launcher and stomp! Have them aim for
the target or work on improving their distance. They
can vary the angle of the launcher or how hard they
stomp. The challenge increases when they aim for
different targets.
Students can also make their own rockets. Tightly
roll a piece of construction paper around the dowel
and tape the edges shut. This creates a paper tube
that’s the correct size for this launcher. Then use
more paper and tape to add an air-tight nose cone to
one end of the paper tube. Rockets need a nose cone
so that the air from the launcher doesn’t just whoosh
out the front of the rocket. Students don’t have to add
fins, but they might want to, because fins stabilize the
rocket and make it fly better. Once the nose-cone and
fins are added, slide the paper rocket off the dowel
and go practice launching the home-made rockets!
IF THEY LOVE IT
Challenge students to build a rocket that separates
into two parts, like many rockets designed to
go into space.
WHY IS THIS SCIENCE?
This is aerospace engineering! For stomp rockets, the force of stomping on the rocket
launcher provides a large push of air that shoves the rocket and launches it. For
rockets that are launched into space or low-earth orbit, igniting massive amounts of
fuel creates this pushing force. For both kinds of rockets, the pushing force has to be
strong enough to overcome gravity in order to launch the rocket. Aiming the rockets
is a challenge in real life just as it is for the stomp rockets, and aerospace engineers
use both mathematics and physics to help them aim, guide, and time the launches
correctly.
TAKE IT BACK TO THE CLASSROOM
Stomp rockets make a great addition to your classroom! You can take them outside
and have distance or height competitions. You can focus on making and perfecting
rockets using different nose cone and fin designs. You can have the students test
one variable that changes the rocket’s flight by designing two rockets with only
one difference, then testing both rockets repeatedly and comparing the data. You
can even model the challenges of aiming rockets by having the students try to hit a
moving target. If you or your students love to build, you can find instructions online
for making your own rocket launcher in addition to your own rockets.
PROUDLY PRODUCED BY
THORP SCIENCE NIGHT
© 2012, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved.
Permission is granted to duplicate for educational purposes only.
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