I’m a little behind in updating my last Girl Scout meeting. I should be preparing for my next meeting but instead here I am writing about the last one.
This meeting was a Halloween celebration, so the girls came dressed in costume. Last year we had a straight out Halloween party ( while earning the Girl Scout Way Badge), so this year I decided to try to get most of our Home Scientist badge requirements done. Since We already completed Step 1 – Emulsion last year by making salad dressing, I focused on steps 2, 3 & 4.
I was very excited about this meeting, not only was it our Halloween celebration but it was the end of National Chemistry Week and we would be working on our Home Scientist Badge. There is no way to meeting could go wrong. Right!?!
As my Brownies arrived they first had to share their costumes with each other (very cute) then they created foam pumpkin faces for their pre-meeting activity. From there, we quickly transitioned into our experiments.
Here are the steps we covered
Step # 2-Create Static Electricity– Bend water with a comb
Step #3-Dive into Density–Skittles Experiment
Step #4 -Make something bubble up–Halloween Shakes
Bending Water – I gave each Brownie her own comb, some of girls where able to create the static electricity needed to bend water while other obviously had some great conditioner in their hair, not all of my Brownies were able to bend water but I encouraged them to go home and try rubbing their comb on a clean sock for about 30 seconds and try it again. The following is the procure and why it (should) work.
1. Turn on the faucet and slowly turn down the water until you have a VERY thin stream of water flowing.
2. Take the plastic comb and brush it through your hair ten times.
3. Now slowly bring the comb close the flowing water, (without actually touching the water) If all goes well, the stream of water should bend towards the comb!
What makes it work? When you brushed that comb through your hair, tiny parts of the atoms in your hair, called ELECTRONS, collected on the comb. These electrons have a NEGATIVE charge. Remember that, its important. Now that the comb has a negative charge, it is attracted to things that have a POSITIVE charge. It is similar to the way some magnets are attracted to certain metals.
When you bring the negatively charged comb near the faucet it is attracted to the POSITIVE force of the water. The attraction is strong enough to actually pull the water towards the comb as it is flowing! If you want to try another experiment with your comb, tear up pieces of tissue until they are as a small as you can get them…I mean really small! Then charge your comb again by brushing it through your hair, and bring it close to the tiny pieces of tissue. If the pieces are small enough they will jump off the table to the comb the same way that the water was pulled to the comb.It is all thanks to the wonders of static electricity.
Skittles Procedure – All of my Brownies loved this experiment. It quick and easy. Easy way to have fun with leftover Halloween candy.
1. Put about 1 cup of very warm water into each of three small bowls.
2. Add 3 red Skittles in one bowl, 3 blue Skittles in another and 3 yellow ones in a third. You can also choose any other colors of Skittles (or M&M’s) except for brown.
3. After about a minute, what has happened to the ‘S’ or ‘m’ letters? What other observations can you make about the water in each bowl?
What makes it work?
The letters on the M&M or Skittles candy do not dissolve in water and are adhered to the candy with an edible glue that dissolves in warm water. Since the letters are less dense than water, the letters peel off and float as the rest of the candy shell dissolves. The colored dyes of the candies will color the water
Halloween Shakes – We made Creamsicle Floats (Orange Soda with vanilla ice cream), of course they loved them, more important then the taste though was that it was a fun explainion of chemical reactions. The colors are also very Halloween.
What makes it work?
Soda contains CO2. Over time the gaseous CO2 comes to the surface. The ice cream increases the rate of this CO2 from the soda causing increased fizzing (bubbles). This increased rate is a result of the solvation of ice cream particles in the liquid. The particles serve as nucleation sites for the growth of gas bubbles. The bubbles get large quiet fast thus you observe fizzing.
After our experiments we made Halloween cupcakes. Complete with all the sprinkles, bat wings, candy corn and imagations the cupcakes could handle.
At the end of the meeting we handed out their past meeting projects: art from their painting badge outing, pottery from their Potter badge outing and badge bags with their earned badges.