Once again, I first saw the next idea on the Steve Spangler show and then saw another version at the Primary Science Teachers Conference in Auckland last holidays. I had many willing volunteers wanting to stand at the front of the class with a polystyrene cup on their heads. Little did they know that I was going to produce our new Airzooka and proceeded to shoot them with air from a distance. It was great to hear boys ideas about what was happening and making observations of what they saw.
I had a blast!
I then did a simple chemistry experiment and explained to the boys how to do it at home. Making a pH indicator from red cabbage, I then added the dark blue/purple liquid to a clear liquid and it changed to an aqua colour. I then added the red cabbage liquid to a beaker of clear liquid and this time it went pink. After a brief explanation about acids and bases I told them that the first jar was water and baking soda, and the liquid that turned pink was white vinegar.
And then I finished each session with a little talk about science and how much fun science is. I also talked about how having a play in the stream, in the kitchen at home, pulling things apart, being curious, asking questions etc all leads onto enjoying science and possibly even becoming a scientist later.
At the teachers conference I got to hear an inspiring and really interesting scientist talk. Siouxsie Wiles works at Auckland University and she heads the Bioluminescent Superbugs Group. She is into bioluminescence (think glow worms and fireflies) and infectious diseases. She was a really interesting and vibrant speaker and she had the whole auditorium listening to every word she spoke. Siouxsie spoke about a few different topics including her daughters Harry Potter birthday party which was full of fun science experiments including screaming poohs aka dry ice sitting on metal spoons. She also shared a small clip she has made which explains what she does. I shared this clip with the teachers at school, some of which showed it to their classes.