What Do Acids and Bases Have to do With Sytrofoam!?

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 –¬†written by STEM Facilitator Kiara Byrd

Today at Woodson North, we started off with a discussion about our future. I wanted the girls to start thinking about their future and where they see themselves heading! This started a discussion of them becoming amazing people one day and that it can possibly start with Sisters4Science. We then went over the code of conduct so there was a solid agreement of who we want to be towards each other. Respectful, kind, supportive, polite, etc.

I asked them if they have ever heard of the scientific method and that we will be making our own with the experiment for the day. I first started asking the girls to think about the drinks they usually drink on a daily basis. I went around the room and had various answers. “I like to drink pop” said Tahnya. and others have ¬†told me they drink water or a type of juice like fruit punch. I then explain the pH scale to them so they could learn about common acids and bases they may never have known. I then started to set up for my demonstration. My demonstration was to show pure acetone allowing a styrofoam cup “melt” right before your eyes!!! Semajah would say “oh my gosh the cup is disintegrating!” Each girl had a chance to have their own cup being able to be no more by the acetone. Stephanee and Rachel, my eigth graders, helped with control of the experiment and also really caught on with how the cup was dissolved. Stephanee also showed patience and courtesy by allowing the other girls go in front of her to do her own experiment with her cup. We used the scientific method today and wrote down the proper information to the right “step”. The girls were really excited with this experiment and wanted to show their families at home.

Everyone was involved and had a great time! We then made our own scientific method so we could apply it to what we learned for the day. We later had a couple of visitors and without me even having to say anything, they briefly explained the experiment to our guests perfectly and even gave the explanation of the chemical reaction. I was really proud of them. I will say Tahnya and Donya were my go-to girls with helping me conducting the experiment and making sure all of the girls were being involved. I really appreciated their help. The girls are really impressive and shows more and more potential every session.


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