Rock Crystals to the Moon and Back!

Good day to you all! On such a windy day in the Windy City on February 20th, the Sisters4Science girls at Funston Elementary were in for a special treat. The session started off with a little active ice breaker. I had the girls play the game, Heads Up!, the app that Ellen DeGeneres created. They had to act out different scenarios and the person with the phone on their forehead had to do guess what was being acted out. It was hilarious watching the girls try and act out things such as “flipping pancakes” and “putting on a bandaid”.
Feb 20 - 8Today’s scientist was none other than the amazing Dr. Sarah Guadiana from the University of Chicago. Unfortunately, this would be the last time that Dr. Guadiana would be with us as she follows her exciting career path to Georgia! We are so excited for her, and sad to lose her all Feb 20 - 4at the same time! For today’s session she brought along the experiment for making rock crystal candy with the girls. The materials were: water, hot plates, beakers, skewers, sugar, and cups. The girls, with the help of Dr. Guadiana and myself, filled the beakers with water and placed them on the hot plates to bring them to a boil. Meanwhile, Dr. Guadiana showed the girls different forms of crystals in a PowerPoint presentation. Finally having the water boiled, the girls were to put 4 cups of sugar in the boiling water and mix it in so the sugar dissolves. One beaker had double the sugar concentration, which means 8 cups of sugar.  While mixing in sugar, they were saying that it smelled like candy already, and some even mentioned that it smelled like syrup!  The girls were then to use the skewer and stir it in the sugar concentrated water. They were then moved to another table where they had to mix the wet skewer with sugar. They left the skewer to dry for several minutes. Meanwhile, the girls filled their glass cups with Feb 20 - 3 Feb 20 - 2some of the sugar concentrated water and flavoring.  Dr. Guadiana brought concentrated flavored syrups for the girls to use, with flavors ranging from peppermint to raspberry.  The room instantly smelled fruity and minty when they added it to their experiment.  They then put the skewer sticks in the water and put them off to the side. The girls were to check on it the following week to see if any crystals had formed in the solution, which then the girls could eat.
It was such a pleasure having Dr. Guadiana a part of the Sisters4Science family. The girls have enjoyed every single moment they have had with her. We send out the best wishes to Dr. Guadiana on her career path. We are extremely happy and appreciative for all the good she has done with the program! Until next time!