Westgate Science Club



'What we did' on Friday 14 September 2012
Our main subject matter for the evening was a touch of physics and the subject of termperature.

During the evening a number of  demonstration and interactive experiements took place which included the following:

INTERACTIVE - Air presure - Holding a glass tumbler upside down full of water supported only by a piece of cardboard. Demonstrating the effect of air pressure and surface tension. Carrying the tumbler carefully to the kitchen. This is a regular favourite with the children.

DEMONSTRATION & INTERACTIVE - Plasma Globes & Flourescent Tubes
'Jump Start' 1/2 flourescent tubes by holding one end and hovering the other ends of 2 plasma globes
. Plasma Balls are really fascinating. There is a high voltage source attached to the inner ball that causes a current to flow to the nearest point with a lower voltage. The ball is filled with a gas that glows when it has electricity flowing through it. When nothing is touching the ball, the current just flows anywhere onto the ball. When you touch the ball, some of the current can flow through the glass and into you. Because your body is providing a place for the current to flow, the electricity keeps flowing and the lines of current can stay connected to the point on the ball that you are touching.
Lighting a Flourescent Tube with a Plasma Globe - see more detail & explanation here

INTERACTIVE - WHAT IS TEMPERATURE? - Each child held a test tube containing water. The water temperature varied from cool to warm. Thermometers were used to measure the temperature of the water and after a few minutes after warming the test tube, another reading was taken. We talked about important temperature readings ie 0C, 37C, 100C
Each child read out their particular temperature.

DEMONSTRATION - CYCLE CENTRIFUGE - One our helpers Joel presented: Cycle Centrrifuge.
Scientists somtimes have to separate mixtures into the various substances. One way to do this is to spin the mixture at high speed ina machine called a centrifuge. Alternatively use the back wheel of your bike. The experiment tonight used a mixture of Vinegar and Vegtable oil.
2 small plastic bottles were filed and one was shook to mix the ingredients. This one was fixed to the back wheel. The bike was turned upside and the back wheel spun fast for about 30 seconds. The 2 liquids separated.
See more detail here from the book
'Science Experiments' by Robert Wiaston

See also 'Learning About Centrifugal Force'

A very dramatic presentation of adding Potassium Iodide to Hydrogen Peroxide, with a few drops of concentrated detergent and food colouring. Three x 6 foot high columns of bubbles and froth. Very dramatic!

INTERACTIVE - KITCHEN VOLCANO Made 8 volcanos showing the effect of mixing vinegar, baking soda and other ingredients to make a miniature volcano. Lots of mess but the kids loved it!

DEMONSTRATION - chemistry -
The vanishing Styrofoam. What happens when styrofoam plates come into contact with Acetone? They seem to magically 'disappear'. In fact the Syrofoam reacts with the solvent to reveal the fact that Styrofoam is made of long strands of styrene molecules with lots of air pockets.
See more detail at Steve Spanglers website.

photos of the evening to follow

The September issue of 'making science cool' booklet was handed out
- click here to see pdf copy

In all a fantastic evening for children and helpers

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