Science Festival Photos 2004
Bubbles demonstrate attractive forces in molecules, least energy configurations,
and thin film optics. Students can be challenge to design or find a tool that creates the biggest bubbles, the
most consistant bubbles, or the most bubbles. Students can also experiment with the products and formulas that create the
biggest or longest lasting bubbles.
Children experiment with rotational inertia by rotating a disk in a circle parallel to the floor with and without
spinning the disk. Another rotational inertia can also be demonstrated by spinning students on a stool with their arms
alternately pulled in and extended.
Young students observe wave motion in a spring. An older student relates the vibration in the spring to
the production of sound waves. Other interesting vibration experiments include making musical instruments
from simple items, rubbing a wet finger around a goblet,
or experimenting with tuning forks.
Pattern recognition is a foundation of math and science. In a rich environment,
students will experiment and make discoveries on their own.
Happy/Unhappy balls have the same shape and mass, but different elastic properties.
Students love to experiment with dropping them and observing about their unexpected behavior.
A twist can be added to the activity by freezing the balls and repeating the experiment.
The Mouse Trap game is a rich example of various ways to transfer energy to generate mechanical
motion. An extension to this activity is to ask the students to create their own energy transfer
machines with objects found in the classroom: balls, strings, books, rubberbands, blocks, rulars, etc..
Inertia is a property of an object associated with mass. Unless a force operates on an object
in the direction of motion, the object will not move. Students experiment with pulling cardboard
from under an object without creating a lateral force. Pluck! Done right, the object falls in the
Students experiment with creating colors in a black film of liquid crystals. Some might wonder if
the colored light is generated by heat or pressure. How can they test their hypothesis?
Sheets of polarized films similar to the lenses in polarized sun glasses create interesting effects,
such as filtering or canceling light transmission based on the orientation of two parallel sheets, or making
colors appear on the surface of clear plastic items. Special polarized lenses can be used to view movies in
Red filters can reveal hidden messages. Anaglyph glasses with have a red filter over one eye and a cyan
filter over the other can make 2-D images look 3-D. Students can experiment with creating their own hidden
Stereo lenses make two 2-D images look like one 3-D image. Lenses bend light in ways that magnify, reduce, and
invert images. Observing the shape and effect of various lenses helps student understand how light can be manipulated
to create useful technology such as overhead projectors, telescopes and magnifying lenses.
Prism and mirror are additional optical elements that allow student to observe properties of light such as color
and straight line movement. Even the youngest students can make simple kaleidoscopes and periscopes with only two mirrors
and a milk carton.
With photography gels are colored filters that allow the students to experiment with color mixing and projection. The
same gels can be used to allow the student to design special effect glasses or mood lighting for their theater productions.
Students enjoy experimenting with the properties of magnets. Strong magnets demonstrate that invisible forces can act over
distances and that levitation is possible. Young students enjoy fishing for paper clipped fish with magnets on a string. Older
students are ready to create their own electromagnets with a battery and wire wrapped nail.
Hit repeat to return to start or back to step back through the pictures.