This month, I'm leading Trevor's Webelos (Cub Scout) den as they work on their "Adventures in Science" activity pin. We had our first meeting this week. I pulled out my periodic table t-shirt, lab coat and safety glasses for the occasion, an outfit I used to wear back in my teaching days when we started the first day of our Chemistry unit. Good times.
We held the meeting in the garage, aka the Cub Scout Science Lab. Trevor and I made a poster to direct the Scouts where to go. The poster was a true collaboration. We sketched out our design together, then I moved across from him and we colored simultaneously. I love how it turned out.
This is Bob Skeleton. He's been hanging in our garage for the past 9 years. Prior to that, he hung in my classroom and served as our class mascot. (Not once in 9 years has anyone ever asked why there is a skeleton wearing a name tag hanging in our garage.) Bob helped us out by holding the US flag during our meeting.
Our meeting was so much fun! After watching me do a silly experiment with too many variables, the boys worked together to design a fair test to see whether hand soap or ketchup is more effective at cleaning pennies. They were amazed to rinse off their pennies and see that the ketchup worked better for all but one Scout!
Then the boys worked together to come up with a fair test of the effect that fertilizer has on plants. They each planted lettuce seeds in two containers, keeping all variables the same except for adding fertilizer to one pot and not the other. They took the plants home and will be making observations throughout the month.
Then we experimented with dry ice. The Scouts loved seeing how frozen CO2 behaves in water, but they were even more excited to see what happened when I put pieces of dry ice into their cups of apple juice!
Here are the hard-working scientists from the Space Seagull Patrol, showing off their soon-to-be sparkling apple juice.
Before putting dry ice in their cups, I'd emphasized safety rules and expectations. Apparently I did too good of a job, as they were all very nervous to try their newly-carbonated juice, even after I'd said it was ok. I love this photo with one brave soul tasting the juice, two who are considering it and trying to get up their nerve, and two who are watching to see what happens to the others once they try it.
After seeing that their fellow Scout neither died nor froze his insides, the others cautiously took a sip... and LOVED it. The last time I saw such enthusiasm for apple juice was approximately 10 years ago when I last did this activity with my students.
I can't wait for next week's meeting.