Day #11

Today was all about the myth around magic. We began with the infamous Table Cloth Trick. The idea is really quite simple: yank a tablecloth out from under a beautiful place setting without destroying the meal or the dishes. It was quite challenging at first, but found if we had the right materials and a little practice the trick was absolutely doable.

Plain and simple, the Tablecloth Trick works because of inertia. In his First Law of Motion (there are three), Newton described inertia as the tendency of an object at rest to remain at rest unless a force acts upon the object to move it. Inertia for an object in motion is the tendency for that object to remain in motion, unless a force acts on it to speed it up, slow it down, stop it, or change its direction. In he Tablecloth Trick, inertia is the key. The inertia of the weighted items on the table keeps them where they are despite the speeding tablecloth underneath them.

For a closer look at the myth, check out, Tablecloth Chaos from Mythbusters.

Next, we had the opportunity to meet a real life magician. Her name is Suzanne and she is beyond amazing! She is the Close-up magician of the Year from The Academy of Magical Arts (The Magic Castle) in Hollywood, California! She even appeared on Penn & Teller “Fool Us” October 5th, 2015 on the CW network . Watch her fool Penn & Teller below.

Suzanne, even shared one of her tricks with us and we got try it out with our very own deck of cards. Ask your kids about it, they’d love to show you!

See you tomorrow!

What’s Cooking?

Day #10

Today, Chef Mark came for a visit and helped us bust a couple of myths regarding the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food. As a chef and food scientist, Mark’s job is to make food last as long as possible without causing harm to us or having it taste awful. We even got to help make Tres Leche Cake! It was so tasty.

Water, Water Everywhere

Day #9

Today students got creative and designed their very own slip and slides, we had so much fun!

Students learned the key to a great slip and slide is to decrease friction. Surface friction occurs anytime two surfaces touch and/or rub against one another. To create a surface with low friction so they would slide smoothly, we picked plastic rolling sheets and lots of water! We built our slides on a slight downhill curve for an extra push from gravity. What a fantastic day!

See you Monday!

MOA Pictures

Day #8

The pictures speak for themselves! We had an AMAZING time! Huge shout-out to all the awesome chaperones, we literally couldn’t have done it without you!

See you tomorrow!

Arr, Matey!

Day #7

Today was all about pirates, treasure hunts, mazes, myths, and teamwork!

After discussing the importance of descriptive language, as well as speaking and listening skills, students practiced describing a series of objects. They then took turns reaching into a bag to describe a hidden object, using only their sense of touch, sight, hearing and smell. After five clues were given, the other student tried to guess what was in the bag, based on the descriptive language used by their partner. Finally, after the hidden object was guessed or revealed, students discussed additional ways to describe the object.

Students spent the rest the day working with their partner to complete an incredible treasure hunt with buried treasure as well as a blinded maze. We also spent a large amount of time working on and testing our myths. This was a very BUSY DAY!!!

See you tomorrow!

Air Pressure

Day #6

Today students started off by watching an AMAZING demonstration by Mrs. Marshall. Mrs. Marshall used a Bell Jar, vacuum pump and several of her favorite items to help explain the basic principles of air pressure. Students made predictions as they watched and learned that higher air pressure always wants to move toward regions of lower air pressure.

Next students had the opportunity to feel the squeeze caused by atmospheric pressure. It was a breathtaking experience. CAUTION: This activity requires adult supervision! For safety reasons, do not attempt this activity with fewer than three people. First the students stepped into an extra large garbage bag, then a vacuum hose was inserted. As the vacuum cleaner decreased the pressure inside the bag, the bag-person felt a tightening or squeezing sensation on the body. The squeezing sensation can be quite substantial. The squeeze is caused by the plastic’s reaction to the difference in the external air pressure outside the bag and the internal air pressure inside the bag. They LOVED it!

Finally we finished the day with some good old fashion SLIME FUN and worked on our myths. Tomorrow we’ll start our experiments and project boards. They are going to look soooo good!

See you tomorrow!

Are You a Superhero?

Day #5

Today was all about learning what makes Superheros, well, SUPER! When we think of Superheroes, what comes to mind? Is it a man or woman in a tight-spandex suit that is faster then the speed of light? Or do you think of someone with the ability to stop a moving train or scale a large building with only their fingertips? While fictional Superheros are pretty incredible, humans have been know to accomplish some pretty incredible feats of their own.

Students first tested their Superhero strength to see how long they could keep a rubber band stretched before their muscles quit in protest. We definitely felt “the burn” during this experiment.

Being a Superhero is all about completing a task quickly and efficiently. For the next experiment students challenged themselves with a physical task and learned they to could complete multi-step tasks quickly and efficiently though practice, repetition and training. A good memory helps too!

While our day was filled with science and busting myths it’s important to remember Superhero Day is there to remind us that superheroes can come in any shape, size, or color. Being one is more about heart than super-powers. We finished the day with several relays where everyone had the opportunity to shine as a REAL SUPERHERO!!!

See you tomorrow!!!

Air Speed and Moon Phases

Day #4

Today was all about Space! Students began by making balloon rockets to hypothesis how the volume of air in a balloon affect the distance it travels. After several test trials we discovered bigger balloons move farther because they can push more air. Students noted all balloons pushed air out at roughly the same speed, but the bigger balloons had more “fuel,” allowing them to exert force for a longer period of time. We then connected our findings to modern day rockets. Modern rockets are propelled using Newton’s Third Law of Motion. The engines on the rocket emit a force that pushes against the ground, which sends the rocket into the air. The force exerted on the ground is equal and opposite to the force exerted on the rocket.

We also completed the ever so tasty Oreo Cookie Moon Phases activity. It’s almost as if Oreo cookies were made for this lesson, and it was a great way to learn how to match a moon phase name with a moon phase appearance. Students had a great time recreating the lunar phases using the frosting from the Oreo cookies. Here’s a fun fact, the Moon’s phases are a natural example of a recurring predictable cycle. They have been used as a calendar by many different cultures throughout history. SO COOL!!!

See you Monday!

Science Museum of Minnesota

Day #3

Today we attend our first field trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota. The museum grabs your interest as soon as you walk through the doors.  There is a giant T-Rex skeleton in the lobby, as well as several other things to see before you even get to the ticket counter. We spent 3 hours at the museum and saw pretty much everything, including Cuba the latest Omani Theater film!  We loved it and would recommend taking your families sometime this summer. Here’s a few pictures of our day!

Reflexes and Earthquakes

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Day #2

Today students began by conducting a simple, measurable experiment (the ruler drop test) to study reaction time and determine how it can be improved with practice. Students then researched and chose their own myths to bust over the next few weeks. Finally, we gathered into groups and designed, built, and tested a model structure made out of uncooked spaghetti sticks.  The goal was to create a model to withstand a 10 second earthquake without collapsing.  Each model was tested on a specially built earthquake machine.  This machine simulates the stresses that occur during earthquakes.   Isn’t that neat?!

See you tomorrow!