Friday, March 1, 2013

momstown Little Scientists: Dry Ice Show with Glenn Kachmar

momstown Victoria moms and kids enjoyed an incredible Dry Ice Show with Glenn Kachmar at our Little Scientists program at Saanich Neighbourhood PlaceDry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, the same stuff in our soda water and which we exhale when we breathe. It is called "dry ice" because it sublimates at a temperature of -78.5°C, meaning it changes directly from solid to gas without going through a liquid stage. The very cold temperature will cause frostbite to the skin, so the children were asked to stay behind a green line of tape for safety. However, we did get as close to being hands-on as possible! First, we took turns blowing on the ice to create large clouds of gas!

Next, Glenn made a Queen and a polar bear wave at us. He chipped a toonie into a block of dry ice, and the coin started to rattle and squeak. Why did it vibrate? One child answered that it was because the Queen was cold and shivering! Actually, the coin at room temperature starts to rapidly convert the ice, and the CO2 gas trapped under the coin starts to push the coin upward, like the lid on a pot of boiling water. Pressing the face of the coin onto the ice even caused a squealing sound. (That poor Queen!) Later, the kids got a chance to press metal spoons onto the ice to feel the spoons vibrate and make the same high pitched sound.

Next, Glen filled about ten plastic film containers with dry ice and secured the lids. Then we sat back and waited as the CO2 gas built up and forced off the lids with a very loud POP! The expressions on the kids' faces were priceless!

Here is a peek at a few more of his exciting dry ice demonstrations:

Glenn can do workshops on almost any science topic that one would teach to elementary or middle school students! Some of his other popular topic include The Human Body, Light and Sound, Rube Goldberg Devices, Chemistry, Force and Motion, States of Matter, Physics, Structures, and many more. He also does birthday parties! Do check out his website to see an amazing slide show:

In March, Glenn will be out of town teaching a workshop (and tearing up some powder in Whistler,) but he has arranged for us to have a substitute! Join us at Saanich Neighbourhood Place on March 28th for Flight and April 25th for Locomotion, 3:30-4:30 p.m. and please bring a toonie donation! And while you're at it, ask about all the other fun stuff that we coordinate for our momstown members, and learn how to register for your FREE 4-week trial!

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