Miss Emma’s Choice (Summer of Science)

There was no educational component to this session, it was purely making explosions or creating goo. I chose the activities because I liked them, I had a good response from previous sessions, or I wanted to test out an activity. Gak was by far the favorite.

This was my final summer science session. All of the sessions were popular, and I will have to work in other science programs throughout the school year to keep the excitement going. I also have plenty of time to figure out what I’m going to do next summer.

Activities

1. Mentos Geysers. This was our first activity. I could not find my geyser tube, so I followed the instructions on Steve Spangler’s website for making one out of construction paper. The homemade tube works, but you’ll need to make a new one for each bottle (a few of mine lasted for two bottles, but you lose time removing and reattaching the tube). You’ll also want to have an awl or ice pick to create a hole to put the toothpick through. It is very hard to force a toothpick through multiple layers of construction paper.

We used: Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Diet 7up, Mountain Dew. Diet 7up performed the best, followed by Diet Coke.

2. Baggie Bombs. This was a repeat from the Acids & Bases session. This time we used two different sized baggies (lunch and quart) to see if there was any difference. I bought regular baggies instead of the sliding ones, and it made a huge difference (in a bad way). Always buy the slider bags. The regular ones (quart-size) didn’t pop. The lunch-size ones sort of did, but it was rather disappointing as a whole.

3. Gak. I decided to do a test run of making gak before the family science program. I used the recipe from PBS. What I learned is that it takes a lot more than 1 teaspoon of the Borax solution to make the gak gel together. We had to keep adding a little bit at a time until there was no more liquid mixture left. Fingers also do a better job mixing than craft sticks once you’re past the initial stages.

gak

Almost-completed gak.

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