Grab-and-Go Science Make-up!

We may have missed some of you during our Thursday grab-and-go sessions, so we’ll come back tomorrow:

Friday, July 17th, from 11:00-Noon
at Bonneville Elementary (490 Gramercy Ave

with extra science kits to hand out.

And, remember that we’ll do launch demonstrations with Ott Planetarium on Saturday (July 18th). Live, virtually viewable rocket launch demonstrations will be on the Ott Planetarium Facebook Page so be sure to check throughout the day for different launches!

A launch from back in the old days when we were in parks with all of you!

As Easy As Rocket Science

It’s a bird…’s a plane…’s a….rocket?!?!?!?! Science in the Parks is gearing up for a rocket themed Science Saturday with Ott Planetrium! A rocket is a cylindrical device that harnesses a controlled explosion to propel itself into the atmosphere (and even past Earth’s atmosphere and in to space!). To help you experience the awesomeness of a rocket launch, Science in the Parks and Ott Planetarium have put together another FREE grab-and-go science kit! The kits will be handed out at all of the Ogden School District Summer Food Service Program this Thursday, July 16th from 11-1 pm.

Waldo swimming in bubble rocket canisters.

Each kit will include three rocket designs (bubble rocket, rubber band rocket, balloon rocket) and two other experiments related to air and space (levitating ball and meteorite hunt). A printed booklet will be provided with pictures and instructions. Demonstration and instruction videos will also be posted on the Science in the Parks and Ott Planetarium websites. On July 18th, the Ott Planetarium will be hosting a virtual Science Saturday centered around rockets! There will be live rocket launch demonstrations on the Ott Planetarium Facebook Page so be sure to check throughout the day for different launches!

Here is the list of Summer Lunch Service locations:

Ben Lomond High
1080 9th Street

Bonneville Elementary
490 Gramercy Ave.

Heritage Elementary
373 S 150 W

James Madison Elementary
2563 Monroe Blvd.

Lincoln Elementary
550 E. Canfield Drive

New Bridge Elementary
2150 Jefferson Ave.

Odyssey Elementary
375 Goddard Street

Ogden High
2828 Harrison Blvd.

West Ogden Park
24th Street & E Ave.

All children under the age of 18 are eligible for the free lunch program with Ogden School District. The grab-and-go science kits are free to everyone, and will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis.

Raisins in Soda

For some people in my family, there’s no good use for a raisin. I happen to disagree. I love them mixed in with nuts and candies, and I also discovered that they make for a great science investigation. When someone set aside all of their raisins, I decided to take video of what happens when I put them in soda water:

When you watch this, you probably have some observations, ideas, and questions. What makes the raisins go up and down? Why are some stuck on the bottom? Why doesn’t my family like raisins? For me, the more closely I look, the more questions I have and the more different things I’d like to try out.

While you’re thinking about this, here’s another video of the same raisins. This one is up close, and most of this video is shown in slow motion so that you can look really closely at some things going on.

You might want to look at this a few times closely, but maybe this is just the first step. If someone in your family doesn’t like raisins and shares them with you, maybe you’ll put them in a favorite drink and see what happens. Maybe there are other liquids and other objects that could do similar things. Let us know what you find out!

ice melting

On hot summer days you might really enjoy a glass with ice, just because you like a cold drink. Have you watched the ice in your glass up close?

This glass of ice water shows that the ice floats at the top. You probably see this all the time.

We’ve done a few investigations just watching ice melt. By taking some video and speeding it up, you get to see the whole process in just a few seconds. Here’s an example where we take ice that’s made from water with red dye. This way, as the ice melts you get to trace where that new liquid goes.

The red ice makes it easy to see where it goes after it’s turned into a liquid. (Food coloring in water is really fun to watch even when it isn’t from melting ice. Maybe we’ll try this later!) Also, these particular ice cubes are made in Han Solo frozen in carbonite ice cube trays. You can’t tell, but maybe you or your parents can appreciate this. Sorry, Captain Solo!

When you watch the ice melt, it’s funny that it goes from the top of the glass and falls to the bottom. What makes it do this? Why did it float in the first place? What would make it sink?

There are other liquids besides water that we can’t drink, but we can still put ice in them (as long as we’re very careful and label these liquids so we don’t accidentally put them in our mouths). We decided to compare what regular (water) ice does when it melts in water compared to when it melts in rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) that you can get at a pharmacy or grocery store.

Here’s a fast timelapse of these two, side-by-side. We think there’s a lot of interesting things going on, even at the beginning before any melting has happened. We added some salt at the bottom of the isopropyl alcohol to make it a little easier to see and to make some salt water as the ice melted.

Ice melts in water and isopropyl alcohol in different ways. You might notice where the ice goes and how it changes in each glass. You can also see some things happening outside the glass that might be interesting.

We like making these videos because then we can replay these episodes really quickly and make comparisons. But it’s also great just to see how ice melts in different ways in real time. You could make videos; or, you could write notes or take pictures or just observe and talk to your family about what you’re seeing. And then you can try melting the ice in other ways. We’d be excited to hear what you observe!

yard aliens

When we’re in the parks, we often find that there are great critters to look at hiding in the grass or in the bark of trees. It’s great that on See It! days we have lenses and microscopes to see these crawling things up close.

Lately, since we’re not in parks, I’ve been paying more attention to the strange alien forms that I find in my own neighborhood and yard, especially at different times of day. Like, this fantastic creature:

A dragonfly perched on a small tree.

I wonder why the wings are shaped this way? Why are there 4 of them? Can it see me through those eyes? Why does it like to land here on the top of this small tree? Why don’t I see it other times of year? And where did it come from?

A few days later I found a few of these babies scrambling around on some leaves in my garden:

A baby preying mantis in my lettuce.
A baby preying mantis in my lettuce, staring back at me.

Do they look familiar to you? How big do you think they might get? And what are they doing on my lettuce?

And most mysterious of all, I found this empty bug. Really! The outside of the bug was there, but the inside seems to have escaped and left behind this shell!

A left-behind exoskeleton.

Isn’t it funny how the outside of this creature is still clinging to this plant? I wonder what the inside of this alien looks like. And where did it go? And why would it do this kind of escape from its own body, anyway?

What I’m learning is that there’s lots of really interesting life outside that I can discover if I just take the time to watch for it. I’m starting to notice more and different kinds of bees than I remember; and there are birds stopping by that I haven’t seen before. And I’m sure that this will continue to change throughout the summer.

What aliens have you noticed around your home?