Chromatography Experiments with Markers!

Today’s lesson at Sisters For Science was Chromatography. While we didn’t have the time or materials to do the type of four-hour chromatography experiments that many organic chemists do, the girls were able to participate in a quick lesson in color chromatography using simple ingredients, including:  water, hand sanitizer, and some markers! As Mackenzie and some of the other girls already knew, chromatography can be used to separate out the components of a chemical compound. For us, we used chromatography to separate the primary colors that could be found in the markers we used. The girls all enjoyed the experiment and how pretty all of the colors looked on the filter paper!

What colors can you see??

What colors can you see??

Primary colors can be found in other colors! And with chromatography, we can see it!

Primary colors can be found in other colors! And with chromatography, we can see it!

After our experiment, we journaled on the importance of being a woman in science. All of the girls agreed that it wasn’t fair that science was a male dominated field and they thought they were just as interested in science as boys are. Looks like we’ve got some future scientists on our hands! These girls are ready to take on the world!

Oct 14 - 4

Make Your Own Elephant Toothpaste!

Rain rain go away. Come again another day. The girls definitely were not liking the gloomy weather but we all were determined to have fun anyway. There were a couple of girls who missed last weeks session so before our activity I asked if they could explain the activity. Tahnya was the first to raise her hand and explained to India and Ashanti the type of experiment that was done. Donya added what the materials were and also explained why they got the particular results we did after completing the experiment. I was impressed they were willing to share and help the girls see what they have learned. The more I see how these girls have potential on being confident when it comes to science I want them to really know how to come together and work as a team. We are all sisters and we all should be there for each other. With that being said I had them become “The Human Knot”. They did a great job in really analyzing the situation and getting their way out if being “tangled” and listening to one another. This was very beneficial for the main event today.

Can they figure out the "Human Knot"?

Can they figure out the “Human Knot”?

They almost got it! :)

They almost got it! 🙂

I briefly explained a couple of chemical terms to them so they can understand that today we are breaking down hydrogen peroxide and creating water and more oxygen by making….ELEPHANT TOOTHPASTE!! I demonstrated the procedure so they can have the chance to do it themselves. They were amazed to see the foam or should I say “toothpaste” come out of our bottle. They even came up with the idea of them breaking up into teams, taking turns with performing the procedure, and being able to feel like real scientists and making chemical reactions on their own. Ashanti even said that she wants to make this experiment for her science project. We wrote down our scientific method and each of us expressed what we learned using our chemical terms. The main word today was catalyst!! We were true chemists today!!

Can we actually brush out teeth with 'Elephant Toothpaste'?

Can we actually brush out teeth with ‘Elephant Toothpaste’?

Catalyst and chemistry in action!

Catalyst and chemistry in action!

Getting Started at Ariel!

Today we kicked off Sisters for Science at Ariel Community Academy! It was great to see a ton of smiling faces, some old and some new, ready to get hands-on with science. But before we did any experiments, the girls worked on creating a Code of Conduct that we would all follow for the rest of the season. As Bailey and some of the other girls pointed out, a Code of Conduct isn’t just about setting rules that the girls have to follow, but also creating some guidelines that they think will help make S4S as fun and enlightening as it can be! For example, Nissa said that one guideline we should all have is to stay engaged and make sure we’re getting the most out of the experiments we’re doing. After some brainstorming and a quick dance break to “All About That Bass”, the girls and I were able to write up a quick Code of Conduct that we hung up in the classroom. Now we’re all set to get our hands dirty with some experiments!

Photosynthesis At Its Finest!

This week, at Funston’s S4S program, we had our lesson based on photosynthesis!  The students were extra enthusiastic today because they had received their progress reports from school!  They were excited to share their achievements and success with me!  Some were not too excited about some of their grades, but I reminded them that they have the rest quarter to improve and they could definitely bring up some grades they are not happy with! Many of them were getting an ‘A’ in science, which was extremely exciting for me and encouraging about the great group of girls we have gathered for Sisters4Science. Many were definitely taking charge of their class work. It felt good being involved in their academic life a little more than usual.

Who can find the words related to photosynthesis the fastest?!

Who can find the words related to photosynthesis the fastest?!

For the remainder of the class, we talked about photosynthesis and what it was useful for. The girls were really shocked at the fact that plants were the ones that produced that oxygen that we needed to survive on.  Many did not realize how important plants are to life’s survival on Earth, both ours and so many other organisms!  We talked about what ingredients are included in the ‘recipe’ of photosynthesis, which lead to great conversations about glucose and why we breath out carbon dioxide.  They were so excited to be learning so many new things!  As our activity, I gave the girls a little word search on photosynthesis.  They absolutely LOVED the word search, and even started competing with each other to see who finished first! So much fun!  It was great to see. Next week, we have our first scientist and it’s a surprise. Definitely cannot wait to see what’s in store!

Pop Rocks and CO2 – Who Knew?!

I have told the girls that Science can be applied to anything. So today I started our session a little differently. We learned self defense! How to know our bodies better in the ability to deflect objects. I taught them about our bodies center of gravity. Where we get our energy from and how it’s different amounts of energy we use depending on our body positions. Since we started talking about our bodies I asked all the girls to breathe deeply in and out. I explained to the girls as they were inhaling and exhaling, their bodies use the oxygen and create CO2 and that is what comes out when we exhale. With that being said let’s play with candy!

Do you know the scientific method?

Do you know the scientific method?

Scientists always come prepared with safety gear!

Scientists always come prepared with safety gear!

Our main activity was the pop rocks and soda experiment. Where we use the combination and see how it can blow up balloons. Pop rocks are great candy that has CO2 in them which helps in adding soda so there is more produced in order to inflate a balloon. Donya, Caremah, and Sarah were my go to helpers today. Donya helped take pictures of us and the girls putting the experiment together. Caremah was my first volunteer to help me putting the materials together even though all of the girls happily participated. Sarah was our note taker. Sarah followed each step and noted down our scientific method and what we thought was going to happen. Donya really stepped it up today and even gave the right conclusion on why Pepsi inflated the balloon the most. I could see that she was more confident in this particular experiment. The girls had a really great time and was more excited when awarded pop rocks for doing such a great job today 🙂

Who knew PopRocks could be fun and educational?!

Who knew PopRocks could be fun and educational?!

 

Which balloon will blow up the most?!

Which balloon will blow up the most?!

Another successful session with our Woodson sisters!

Another successful session with our Woodson sisters!

CatLion, Unicorn Bat Bear, DinoFishes, oh my!

Good afternoon to all! Third week of our program at Funston Elementary School was super fun! It was the first week where it was not all paperwork for the girls so I was a little nervous to start. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Today’s lesson was about Evolution, more specifically Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. I asked the girls if they had any idea what evolution was and they answered that they did not. That is when the lesson started! I had created a worksheet that broke down the theory in a way that the girls could understand. I asked a few pop questions here and there and it seemed like they were getting the hang of it!

Brainstorming what their animals are going to look like!

Brainstorming what their animals are going to look like!

The activity for today was called Build-A-Beast. It consisted of five categories that had different subcategories that could describe an environment. Within that environment, the girls had to create an imaginary animal that could live in the environment and highlight the superior traits. So many girls were super creative with their animals. Some of them were: The CatLion, DinoFish, and Unicorn Bat Bear. I had nothing but fun today. The girls were super energetic and I love that energy in the room. Cannot wait for the next week!

What kind of animal would you make?

Ecosystems and Water Fun!

For our session on Tuesday, September 30th, we wanted to go to the core of what it means to be a scientist!! First we were introduced to two new sisters Aaquila and Caremah. They definitely were very proactive in our first activity. I wanted the girls to have a better look at what was around them. We talked about what an ecosystem is and why it is important for all aspects of the environment work together.  I also discussed with the girls about recognizing abiotic (nonliving parts of an ecosystem) and biotic (living parts of an ecosystem) factors.  The girls then had the opportunity to expand and apply their new knowledge with a short field trip outside.  We walked around the school and the girls had the opportunity to see all the parts of the environment and ecosystem around their school. The girls really woke up from being outside and really got their brains working.

Our Woodson Sisters observing the environment around the school!

Our Woodson Sisters observing the environment around the school!

Just taking a stroll!

Just taking a stroll!

After discussing our Code of Conduct and allowing the girls to understand how we are all sisters and must respect each other while having fun it was time to get things started. We then moved on to an important science subject, the Scientific Method!  We went through each part of the process and details about the steps so we would be better prepared for what I had in store for them. The water, pepper, and soap trick.  Learning how to apply the scientific method and learning how soap breaks surface tension and is great for cleaning! The girls had a lot of fun and I noticed they really were working together more and more engaging in the activities. It was a great day of science and learning!

Brainstorming parts of the Scientific Method!

Brainstorming parts of the Scientific Method!

Putting our thoughts on the Scientific Method into action!

Putting our thoughts on the Scientific Method into action!