Tuesday, March 24, 2015 – written by STEM Facilitator, Nedum Aniemeka
This past Tuesday at Ariel, the girls of Sisters4Science learned about luminescence! Dr. Rosemary Bastian is a post-doctoral student at Northwestern University and she came to do a demonstration of luminescence using glow sticks. To start off the lesson, Rosemary told the girls about the different kinds of luminescence present in every day life. Animals like jellyfish depend on bioluminescence to produce the glowing look that they have. When Dr. Bastian asked the girls why they thought certain animals had bioluminescence, Alana said that they probably used it to ward off predators! With that introduction to luminescence, the girls got to turn off the lights and get cracking with some glow sticks! To observe the effects temperature has on luminescence, the girls were asked to put their glow sticks in beakers of hot and cold water and observe the effects the temperature had on their brightness. Kiara predicted that the glow sticks in hot water would glow brighter than the glow sticks in cold water, and she was right!
To finish off this lesson on luminescence, the girls worked with some glow-in-the-dark paint to decorate ornaments! The girls were each given an ornament to decorate with paint and bring it home. Who says you can’t mix art and science?
At the end of session, the girls were asked to complete a “I used to think but now I know” for their journals that day. One of our newer girls, Anise, said that she used to think that illuminescence was just something that made jelly fish look cool, but now she knows that their glowing serves an actual purpose of protecting themselves from predators! We learn something new every day.