Sunday, June 30, 2013

momstown Little Scientists: Whiz Bang Show with Glenn Kachmar

momstown Victoria moms, kids, toddlers and babies enjoyed a special Whiz Bang Show with Glenn Kachmar at Saanich Neighbourhood Place!

For his first demonstration, Glenn made "Elephant's Toothpaste," a chemical reaction that causes lots and lots of green foam to ooze out of a bottle - but you wouldn't want to brush your teeth with it! The foam bubbles are harmless and filled with oxygen, however, the kids also observed steam - the reaction produces heat and the foam and glass cylinder are hot. 

"There is a safe version of this experiment, but we won't be doing that today!"  
But you can try this safe, kid-friendly version which kids can put their hands into, found on Glenn's website!

Elephant's Toothpaste (kid-friendly)

Materials: a cup, yeast, warm water, a flask or bottle, 3% hydrogen peroxide, food colour and dish soap 

1. Put 125 mL of warm water in a cup and add yeast. Set aside for ten minutes or until it has risen.

2. Pour about 100 mL of hydrogen peroxide into the flask or bottle. Add some food colour and dish soap. Swirl it around to mix it.

3. Add the yeast mix to the coloured, soapy hydrogen peroxide and watch the oxygen come out of the peroxide and form bubbles.

The science: The yeast acts as a catalyst and helps the oxygen to come out of the peroxide. The soap helps make bubbles and so you have oxygen-filled soap bubbles for the foam.

Next, Glenn performed a "magic" trick. He took out three cups, poured water into one of the cups and shuffled them around. Then he asked us to guess which one held the water. We thought we knew the answer but - he turned the cup over, and it was empty! Then he showed us that the other two cups were empty as well. Where did the water go? The answer is not "magic," of course, but see the pictures below to guess the science! ;)

We often think eggs are fragile, when in fact the shape of an egg (dome on the bottom and on the top) makes it very strong. When pressure is applied to both ends, the pressure is distributed evenly over the whole shell, which makes it hard to break. Glenn showed us the incredible strength of the humble egg, by placing a board on top of 8 eggs and giving each kid a turn to stand on it. The eggs did not break!

We weren't sure what to expect next as Glenn placed 4 eggs on top of cylinders, on top of a tray, on top of 4 glasses of water. Then he proceeded to take a broom, stand on the fronds and.......WHAP! The handle hit the tray and cylinders, and all 4 eggs landed in the cups! Amazing!

Watch closely!

Glenn did even more great science demos with us, including showing that our kids could stand on balloons without popping them, firing smoke rings at us, getting me to breathe real fire and creating a dramatic soda fountain!

Thank you so much, Glenn Kachmar, for all of the amazing Little Scientist programs you gave us, and for helping to raise donations for Saanich Neighbourhood Place. Good luck in all your adventures - you are truly something incredible!!! 

Glenn is a wonderful teacher and our momstown kids and toddlers loved him. He is currently writing a book about science with kids and on leave from teaching, and he is available to do science shows and workshops at schools, preschools, daycares, home learners, birthday parties and much more! Here is a look back at everything we've done together.

Thanks for all the fun! We'll miss you, Glenn!

Little Scientists will continue at Saanich Neighbourhood Place on July 25th and August 22nd, 3:30-4:30 p.m.! We will be doing more experiments from the TRY THIS page on Glenn's website, Please bring a $2 donaton for Saanich Neighbourhood Place! An annual momstown membership is only $45/year, which includes a BONUS 1-year subscription to Today's Parent Magazine! Email to learn more or sign up today!

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