Westgate Science Club



'What we did' on Friday 2nd December 2011
Our main subject matter for the evening was ....SPYING & SECRET CODES...!
Amongst other experiments the following were included:


Changing Water into Wine and back into Water! - The first glass contained a clear liquid. It was poured into the 2nd glass and it instantly changed to a red colour. This was in turn poured into the 3rd glass and instantly changed back to a clear liquid. 

The 1st glass contained water with a few drops of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda crystals). Then added a few drops of phenolphthalein to the 2nd glass. Then added a few drops of hydrochloric acid to the 3rd glass.
** How it works ** - The sodium hydroxide makes the water in the first glass alkaline. When you pour the alkaline solution onto the phenolphalein, a chemical reaction occurs, turning it deep red. When you pour the red mixture into the glass with the concentrated acid in it, the phenolphthalein returns to a colourless form - water into wine, and then back again.

INTERACTIVE - Air presure - Holding a glass tumbler upside down full of water supported only by  a piece of cardboard. Demonstrating the efefct of air pressure and surface tension.

INTERACTIVE - Exploring the magic of polymers with simple household materials.   Who would have thought that a combination of a plastic bag, some  water and a few pencils would produce such a simple dramatic experiment. We learnt how to poke a hole in a plastic bag filled with water and reseal it like magic. The secret has to do with a better understanding of the chemistry of polymers. Quote from Steve Spangler.

'can do this at home' - controlling a tomato ketchup pack inside a bottle full of water. We filled a 2 litre coke bottle, added some salt until the pack floated. Then we were able 'to control' the pack, diving and rising.

We talked about the recent news of GCHQ advertising for anyone to break the secret code they had published on the internet.
Invisible Ink - Mike had written a special code on an A4 sheet of paper using lemon juice, the code was invisible until the sheet was heated over a gas flame when it was revealed.
We mentioned other types of lquid which could be used for 'invisible writing.' We talked about a special machine called a 'LIE DETECTOR'A very crude type of a LIE MACHINE was set up with a multimeter, a copper handle and an aluminium handle. Different measurements were taken example 500 mv when these were grasped. Some children wanted to 'test' the machine by telling a lie but it wouldn't have been genuine!
Mike had a special radio code which is unqiue. How many seceret passwords do we have for our computers?


Each child made a Secret Cypher Wheel -
           how to send seceret messages to a friend.

                        Click here to go to topspysecrets.com

The December issue of 'making science cool' booklet was handed out
- click here to see pdf copy  or if children absent the booklet was posted.

In all a fantastic evening for children and helpers

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