Category Archives: Weekly Challenges

Engineering Challenge

Are you up for a challenge that can win you lots of fame and money?  If so, don’t continue reading.  This challenge is not for you.  However, if you’re interested in an engineering challenge just for the fun of it, read on!

Step 1:  Watch this video that gives an overview of the engineering challenge.

Step 2:  Draw out different designs/ideas on paper.

Step 3:  Work with 1-2 other people to decide on the best design.

Step 4:  Gather materials (listed below) and build your design.  Test, modify, test again, modify.  Repeat as needed.

  • Large (approx. 18 oz) paper or plastic cups (10)
  • Small (approx. 9 oz) paper or plastic cups (20)
  • Aluminum foil; cut a larger roll into pieces no larger than 10.75 by 12 inch sheets
  • Popsicle sticks (50)
  • Scotch® tape (1 roll)
  • Approx. 12 mm or 1/2 inch diameter wooden or plastic beads (10)
  • 1 liter (or 32 oz) plastic water bottle
  • Tap water
  • Metric ruler
  • Large, shallow plastic tub to catch water if you are doing the project indoors, or an outdoor area where it is OK to spill water.

View designs here: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/fluor-challenge

If you need help gathering materials, check with your classroom teacher or the EY Coordinator at your building.  Make sure to send a picture of your final design to the EY Coordinator at your building so we can post them on our Student Showcase.

Finio, B. (2017, July 28). Follow the Flow. Retrieved October 5, 2017 from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/CE_p025/civil-engineering/water-flow-system

The Fascinating Physics of Everyday Life

image taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:P_physics.svg

Physics is the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy.  Learn more about Physics by checking out the following resources.

Watch the Fascinating Physics of Everyday Life video.  Answer the questions below by posting a comment and/or try some of the “toys” Dr. Czerski mentions in the video.

  • What is the law of conservation of angular momentum?
  • How does something not touching anything (i.e. Hubble Telescope) know where it is?
  • What are two important things to know about science?

Go to the PHYSICS4KIDS website and learn about one of the topics.  Create a presentation about one of the topics.

Check out Physics for Kids Overview on ducksters.com.  Create 10 trivia questions for your classmates to answer.

Toy Hackers

There will be new episodes and DIY videos every week! Watch now @ https://youtu.be/64O_3lsn4Yw

Try this yourself! Collect the supplies and create! Snap a picture of your speakers and send it to the EY coordinator in your building.

If you liked this project, check out Toy Hackers. Toy Hackers is a new web series for the next generation of inventors! In the first weekly show, Goldie & the gang will help kids turn toy boxes into toolboxes.

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Animal Olympians

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Welcome to the Animal Olympics, where species compete daily in the wild to thrive and survive.  Different species have adapted different athletic abilities to succeed in their respective environments, from running fast to chase prey to swimming great distances in search of food and safety. Animals are amazing athletes and their performances in the wild are of often above and beyond Olympic caliber.

And the medals go to………. Animal Olympic Medal Winners

Read through each of the animal award winners, and then choose your own animal to research.  After you have gathered new information about your animal, create an award for your animal similar to those at WWF. Share your project with the EY coordinator in your building.

 

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Patents, Trademarks, and You!

patent-types

www.hongkiat.com

Are you someone who keeps an eye out for the latest inventions?  Do you enjoy tinkering with objects to see what you can create?  Then knowing about patents and trademarks might be helpful in your future endeavors!  The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) has a website to help kids understand more about the patent and trademarking process.  Check it out here.  Try some of the activities and videos!  Leave a comment with an idea you would love to create a patent for or something interesting you learned about the patent/trademarking process.

Naming a New Spider in Australia

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How amazing would it be to have a newly discovered creature named after you?!?  Well, that is exactly what happened to world renowned physicist Brian Greene.  A new type of water spider was discovered hanging out in the streams of Brisbane.  These spiders have an interest in physics just as Professor Greene does.  Click here to read the full article.

In the article, the recent discovery of Einstein’s gravitational waves is presented.  This theory has been in the works for 100 years, started by Einstein, and was just proven true through the spiraling of two black holes into each other (One 36 times the mass of the sun!).  For more information on this discovery, click here.

Ponder this:  You are being honored for your work and will have a creature named in your honor.  If you were able to choose, what creature would be at the top of your list?

Leave a comment with your reactions to the articles or what creature you would choose!

Picture: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/technology/sci-tech/brisbane-welcomes-world-renowned-physicist-by-naming-spider-after-him-20160309-gneg0n.html

Science, Math, & Technology at Your Fingertips!

Science-Explosion

Have you ever wondered how an atom is created?  Or maybe you find yourself wondering how energy forms and changes.  Do building fractions and creating creatures from area formulas excite you?  Then this simulation website is for you!

PhET Simulations is an interactive website full of simulations that introduce you to many different areas of math and science such as force and motion, energy forms and changes, the Greenhouse Effect, Glaciers, and more!  Click here to get started on your own simulation journey!  Leave a comment with your favorite simulations.

*Be sure to hold your iPad horizontally while working with the simulations.*

Eggstraordinary Experiment

For this post we are going back to the beginning…of STEAM that is.  So in honor of the “S,” how about a science experiment post to get your investigative juices flowing…

 The Dissolving Egg Shell & Bouncing Egg Experiment

This experiment is simple, it involves a lot of observation but the results are really interesting to watch.
Reflection 1:
To start with, take time to reflect on what you think will happen when the eggs are put into the vinegar and water.  Make a note of your reflection in a notebook or other recording device that you are able to keep your future reflections and comparisons in.
What You Need:
eggs
(we used raw eggs – 2 brown & 2 white)
vinegar
water
clear cups
What To Do:
1. Set up 4 clear cups.
2. Put 1 egg into each cup.
3. Add vinegar to 1 of each cup containing a white & brown egg.
4. Add water to the other 2 cups.
*eggs should be covered completely by each liquid.
5. Observe
Start of Experiment/Day 1:
Reflection 2:
What do you notice happening in the 2 cups?
Can you explain why these things are happening? (may require research)
A few hours later…
Reflection 3:
What do you notice about the egg in each cup?
Do you have a hypothesis as to why this is happening? (again, you may have to do a little research)
Write a prediction about what you think will happen to all 4 eggs at the end of 7 days?
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 5:
Day 7:

End of Experiment – Day 7:

Reflection 4:
What has happened to the eggs?
Test your eggs to get more information by dropping them on a protected surface (adult approved of course).
What observations did you make?
 
And Now, The Science:
What is the chemical reaction that is taking place in this experiment?
Why does this happen?
How could you change this experiment to learn more about this reaction?
What other egg experiments have you done?
We’d love to have you share some of your reflections by leaving a comment!
Happy Experimenting!
Adapted from http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/

Full STEAM Ahead #15: Learn More About the Elements on The Periodic Table

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If the last Full STEAM Ahead post ignited your passion for the periodic table, then this week’s post is for you!  TED Ed joined forces with the people at Periodic Videos to bring us the what-is-what on each element of the periodic table.  Choose an element, watch the video (sometimes they only work in the pop-up boxes), take the quiz and then dig in deeper to find out even more!  Leave a comment with what element was most interesting to you.

Full STEAM Ahead #14: Four New Elements Added to the Periodic Table!!

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 9.28.03 AM22 milligrams is equal to about 7 ten-thousandths of an ounce.  That’s how much of a synthetic (man-made) material was used in the discovery of 2 new chemical elements that will help fill out the seventh row of the periodic table.

That synthetic material, berkelium-249, was produced in a project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  That product was separated and processed during a 3-month period at the Oak Ridge Lab’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center.  The berkelium-249 was then shipped to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), in Dubna, Russia, where it was bombarded with calcium-48 ions, creating six atoms of element 117 – one of the new elements!

What are ions?  Ions are atoms with extra electrons or missing electrons. When you are missing an electron or two, you have a positive charge. When you have an extra electron or two, you have a negative charge.

The other three elements that have also been officially verified by the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) are elements 113, 115, and 118.  Element 115 is produced when element 117 decays.  The four new elements fill out the seventh row, or period, of the periodic table. The last time new elements were added to the periodic table was in 2011, when elements 114 (flerovium, or Fl) and element 116 (livermorium or Lv) were added.

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been invited to submit names and symbols for the new elements.

Jim Roberto, ORNL associate lab director for science and technology partnerships, says “The discovery of new elements is actually very exciting on a number of different levels, and what we have done with our partners is change the periodic table, and we have changed every high school chemistry book.”

We have a lucky connection to this discovery! Mrs. Sindt, EY teacher at Rockbrook and Hillside, has a brother who is the Isotope Production Manager at Oak Ridge National Lab.  His name is John Krueger and he is an alum of Hillside Elementary and Westside High School! 

Think of a question you have about this discovery, or about science in general, that you’d like to ask him.  E-mail your question to your EY coordinator and she will make sure it gets to Mr. Krueger, who will then e-mail you back through Mrs. Sindt. 

Videos to watch for further explanation:

Some of my Rockbrook 5th graders asked John Krueger questions and received some very detailed, interesting responses.

See the questions and responses here.