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.