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Workshop Syllabus

Workshop: Scientific Spectacular

Length of workshop: 1 day

Overview: Explore electromagnetism and create your own YouTube style science video.

As always StarTime’s workshops turn the ordinary into the extraordinary!

Participants will undertake a range of activities and learn about fabulous friction, observe osmosis and survey the hypnotising process of solubility all using everyday items that you will have at home.

Participants will work collaboratively and have to think creatively to create the BEST designs and use their scientific knowledge to predict what they think will happen.

Professor Eis-in-slime will make his anticipated appearance and guide students through their day of discovery.

Participants will:

  • Marvel at the properties of a’non-newtonian’ fluid as they create their very own stress ball
  • Undertake StarTime’s exciting marshmallow and friction challenge’s
  • Work in groups to succeed at StarTimes very own ‘Paper Aeroplane Championship’
  • Engage in experiments that cover and build on some key biology, chemistry and physics basics.
  • Cultivate a love for science and understand its important in our everyday lives

Session 1

Water Moving up Plants 

WHAT: Observe the phenomenon of osmosis whereby water moves through the xylem of plants.

HOW:
1. Cut/break the celery into 3 pieces about 6cm long, each piece should be cut differently:

1. the first piece of celery should include the leaves of the celery on one end of the celery

2. the second piece of celery should be cut evenly on both ends of the celery

3. the third piece of celery should be cut unevenly with some of the skin of the celery separated from the rest of the celery (see picture below)

2. Fill clear plastic cup ¼ full of water and add 3 drops of food colouring of choice (probably not green) 

3. Place the celery in the cup of water vertically so that only one end of the celery is in the water while the other end of the celery should be outside.

4. Check celery every two hours. After sitting for the celery sit for a few hours, you should see the food colouring at the opposite end of the celery stalk that was not submerged in the water.

RESULTS:
For the celery that is cut evenly, you should see coloured dots at the end of your celery stalk.
For the unevenly cut celery, you should see the colour as lines along the edge of the celery.
For the celery that has leaves on the end that is not submerged in water, you should see the colour change in the leaves.

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
Water moves by a process called osmosis. Water moves from an area of high water concentration to low water potential and we can observe this phenomenon when we add food colouring to the water.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Observing-Water-Movement-Within-Celery/

  • A stalk of celery
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Clear plastic cup
  • Knife

Head Coach and Assistant Coach:

  • to divide resources to groups and to pre-cut the celery with the knife.
  • to assist students especially in cutting celery and adding water

This activity to be done first thing because it takes a few hours for the water and food colouring to move up the plant

Participants not to use knife

Be careful of food colouring on clothes

Make sure groups label their work so they know which one is theirs later in the day when the changes happen

Friction Challenge

WHAT: An easy and fun critical thinking activity whereby participants predict which material will create enough friction to lift the bottle.

HOW:

  • Fill small plastic bottles up with different materials such as sand, rice, sugar and pasta.
  • Students to stick pencils in (fully) and try and ‘pick’ up the bottle.
  • Get them to predict what they think will happen and why.
  • Award stars for best explanations or the team that manages to work out the trick first

This activity could be done as a starter group activity/game to get students excited about science in everyday items, teams are given a material at random, they fill their bottle up and try to lift it up OR students have to ‘pick’ a material they go and sit behind the bottle they think will work

WHAT’S HAPPENING:

Should only work with the rice, students are able to pick the bottle up due to the strong force of friction between the pencil and the many rice grains.
TIPS: Make sure the pencil/chopstick is all the way down in the bottle and lift up slowly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oJ_Kg30ULU

  • 4 or 5 small plastic bottles
  • Pencils OR chopsticks
  • Different materials e.g. sand, rice, pasta, sugar
  • Funnel

Head Coach:

  • to demonstrate at the front and then with AC, assist students in groups for said activity

Coach:

  • to assist students in groups for said activity

Make sure the pencil/chopstick is all the way down in the bottle and lift up slowly.

Younger participants may need more scaffolded help e.g pre-pouring the materials.

Senior students can be given a vague outline and be left to try and work it out. This could be timed to add more excitement.Session 2

Candy Rainbow Plates

WHAT: Students use candies such as skittles and warm water to make intriguing patterns, observe diffusion and learn about solubility.

HOW:
1. Arrange the Skittles in a single row coloured pattern around the edge of the plate. Encourage students to try different arrangements of colours with different sweets
2. Pour over enough warm water to cover all the Skittles and the plate itself.
3. Watch and wait as a rainbow appears on the plate, the colours will move towards the middle and create a whirl of colour.
4. You could gently blow on the colour to make more patterns and pictures

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
Whether a solid dissolves when surrounded by water depends on how strong the internal bonds are and how eager it is to bond with water. Breaking bonds and making new ones requires energy. Temperature plays a role as well; adding heat means adding energy—and for most solids the hotter the water, the easier and faster it is to dissolve the solid. Heated molecules move around more so the dissolved substance will disperse more quickly than in unheated water. When we see the colours make patterns this is because the water is dissolving them from around the hard candy. The colour molecules are in a higher concentration around the candy so they move to a lower concentration and spread out.

Hard candy is often made primarily of sugar, corn syrup and other substances that dissolve easily in water. Like the saliva in your mouth, the water in the plate allowed them to dissolve. Adding heat made this process easier and faster. As the candy dissolved layer by layer, it got smaller and smaller, and more and more sugar, syrup and colouring chemicals dispersed in the water. This is why the water changed colour and if we taste it, will also taste sweet. The water represents our saliva and this is why our tongues sometimes change colour when eating lollies.

https://www.kidspot.com.au/things-to-do/activity-articles/rainbow-skittles-science-experiment/news-story/e8dd4d5450c8fee379583df7f58d6767

  • Skittles, smarties or m&m sweets (be mindful of allergies
  • ¼ cup of lukewarm water
  • Plastic plate
  • iPad or device to time lapse the process

Head Coach:

  • to demonstrate at the front and then with AC, assist students in groups for said activity

Coach:

  • to assist students in groups for said activity

Time lapses of the candies dissolving and food colouring diffusing into patterns and arrangements are a good extension activity

Be careful of food dye on clothes

Paper Aeroplane Challenge

WHAT: The flight time of a paper aeroplane will be longer if the four forces of thrust, gravity, drag and lift are balanced.
Teams compete to create the ‘best’ paper aeroplane depending on the criteria set by the Coaches.

Participants can get creative and use textas to make an eye-catching design.

HOW:
1. Arrange the Skittles in a single row coloured pattern around the edge of the plate. Encourage students to try different arrangements of colours with different sweets
2. Pour over enough warm water to cover all the Skittles and the plate itself.
3. Watch and wait as a rainbow appears on the plate, the colours will move towards the middle and create a whirl of colour.
4. You could gently blow on the colour to make more patterns and pictures

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
Drag (the air resistance pushing against the plane), gravity (the force pulling your plane back towards Earth), thrust (the forward movement of the plane) and lift (the force pushing the plane up into the air) are four forces which will all be acting upon your plane when in flight. In order for your flight to last the longest these forces need to be balanced for as long as possible. The design of your plane, including; how aerodynamic it is, the weight of the plane and the push and direction of which your plane takes off will be important factors into how long your plane will fly for.

Patterns:
https://www.teachengineering.org/content/cub_/activities/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson06_activity1_handout2.pdf

Instructions:
https://www.teachengineering.org/content/cub_/activities/cub_airplanes/cub_airplanes_lesson06_activity1_sample.pdf

  • A4 or A3 paper
  • Aeroplane patterns or youtube to see how to make planes
  • Texters , tape, rulers, scissors (optional)
  • ‘Cargo’ could be lego or coins (optional)

Head Coach:

  • to demonstrate at the front and then with AC, assist students in groups for said activity

Coach:

  • to assist students in groups for said activity

Use the patterns or encourage participants to look up new paper aeroplane designs on YouTube

Do not throw planes until instructed

Be careful of planes hitting people in the face and paper cuts

Coaches design an ‘obstacle course’ for the planes or targets for them to land on. Different landing sights of the longest flights get the most points these can be converted into Stars for the Star Chart’.

Session 3

DIY Stress Balls

WHAT:

Learn about the non-newtonian properties of oobleck mixtures in these DIY stress balls.

Simply add cornstarch and water to a balloon and use textas to create eye catching designs.

HOW:

  • Mix a cup of water with two cups of cornstarch (this may depend on the cornstarch/cornflower you have available. Use your own discretion).
  • Stir until gloopy. You should feel resistance when stirring quickly, and no resistance when stirring slowly. This is because the oobleck mixture is a non-newtonian fluid and turns solid when pressure or force is applied.
  • Pour the mixture into the water bottle. A funnel can also be used but the opening isn’t as big.
  • Attach the opening of the balloon to the top of the water bottle. Flip over and squeeze the contents into the balloon until full.
  • Taking care not to let any air bubbles get into the balloon, take the balloon off and tie it in a knot.
  • Take another balloon and cut the end off. Wrap this over the filled balloon to cover up the knot and add more durability to prevent breakage.
  • Decorate the stress ball with textas if required.

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
Cornstarch and water when mixed create an oobleck mixture. This is a non-newtonian fluid and turns solid when pressure or force is applied. This explains the satisfying feeling when you squeeze the ‘stress’ ball, the force of your hand puts pressure on the mixture and it starts the harden up. This also means that when creating the mixture there will be resistance when stirring quickly (it is behaving more like a solid) and no resistance when stirring slowly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndp2gq6wveM

  • Corn starch
  • Water
  • Balloons
  • Water bottle
  • Permanent texters (optional)

Head Coach:

  • to demonstrate at the front and then with AC, assist students in groups for said activity

Coach:

  • to assist students in groups for said activity

Different to slime stress balls; can be bigger and feel different due to the oobleck mixture inside

Add second balloon around the outside to prevent popping

Liquid Density Tube

WHAT: Marvel as different liquids and objects organise themselves based on density.

HOW:
Supervise children carefully during this experiment. For children under the age of 12, it might be best for the adult to do the pouring.

1. Begin by pouring the light corn syrup or honey into the bottom of the jar. The layer should be about an inch tall. If you wish to colour the light corn syrup, add a few drops of food colouring now, and stir.
2. Next, pour the dish soap into the jar to layer on top of the oil. For best results – each time you pour a new liquid into the jar, tip the jar to the side slightly and pour the liquid down the inside wall of the jar. This will keep the poured liquids from disturbing the liquids already in the density tower.
3. Mix a few drops of blue food colouring into some water and pour it into the jar. This will form your third layer.
4. Top off the density tower with cooking oil. You can colour this with food colouring too if you wish; try to use a variety of colours so there is a drastic difference between your layers.
5. If using a jar place a lid tightly, so that none of the contents will leak out. Have fun tipping the jar upside down and on its side, and then watch as the layers of the tower separate themselves once the jar has been placed face up again on a flat surface. Do not shake the jar, as this may cause some of the layers to combine. If you are using a clear plastic cup, gently swirl the contents and then watch them separate
6. To introduce challenge into the activity challenge students to pick objects that they think will float on each layer for e.g. cork, small bits of plastic such as lego or coins (coins will always float to the bottom as they have a greater density than many of the liquids.

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
An object’s density is calculated by dividing its mass (weight) by its volume (the amount of space it occupies). Liquids have density too. This experiment uses several different types of liquid to determine which is more dense. Lighter liquids are less dense than heavier liquids so they float on top of them.

https://childhood101.com/density-experiment/

  • Light corn syrup/honey
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Cooking oil
  • Clear plastic cups / glass jars
  • Small plastic items or coins to float
  • Food colouring (optional)

Head Coach:

  • to demonstrate at the front and then with AC, assist students in groups for said activity

Coach:

  • to assist students in groups for said activity

Students can add food colouring to make their density jars look colourful and add objects to investigate what layer they will float on

Younger participants may need help with pouring liquids.

See experiment card for tips on how to pour to increase separation of layers

Mop up any spills immediately

Senior students could time lapse their liquids settling for their movie/end of day demonstration.

Extension

Marshmallow Challenge or Marshmallow Constellations

WHAT: Participants use their knowledge of forces and shapes to create the strongest designs using the materials provided

HOW:

  • Discuss constellations and ask if anyone can name and / or draw any of them.
  • Encourage students to re-create constellations templates using marshmallows and toothpicks. Students can create their own and tell the group about it
    OR Students can use the marshmallows and spaghetti to try and make the tallest/strongest tower in a given amount of time. Stars for the group working collaboratively, creatively, compassionately etc.

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
The marshmallows represented the stars in the sky, a constellation is a group of bright stars that form a prominent pattern in the night sky.

For the marshmallow tower students need to use the materials to create the strongest tower by making sure that forces are balanced. This is done by creating a structure that is stable enough that the upwards thrust of the tower is greater than or equal to that of gravity in order to prevent collapse. Triangles are a great shape to use in structures as they are able to withstand a lot of force.

http://howtostem.co.uk/blog/space-stem-marshmallow-constellations/

Handout:

  • Marshmallows
  • Toothpicks or spaghetti
  • Constellation templates
  • Marshmallow challenge sheets

Head Coach:

  • to demonstrate at the front and then with AC, assist students in groups for said activity

Coach:

  • to assist students in groups for said activity

Activity can be timed to add excitement of weights can be added to the marshmallow towers to see which ones can withstand the most force.

DEMONSTRATIONS

WHAT: Students demonstrate what they have made/learnt from the day

HOW:

  • Could share videos of activities that they have recorded on their device or make a ‘news report’ style movie of the activities they have completed throughout the day

WHY:
Participants will:

  • Learn to COLLABORATE with a team
  • Learn presentation skills to peers
  • Embrace individuality, creativity and courage as they create and demonstrate
  • Objects that students have created throughout the day

  • iPads/devices

  • Projector

Head Coach:

  • show videos students have made on projector

Coach:

  • encourage other groups to watch, listen and feedback