Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wicked Sweet Science Cafe~It's how Cape Cod celebrated National Chemistry Week 2014

It was a perfect New England October Saturday for the Cape & Islands Boy Scouts Council of America to have their mostly outdoor Wicked Cool Autumn Welcome at BSA Camp Greenough in Yarmouthport, MA. 
This is the second  consecutive year that we have partnered with the Cape & Island Council of the Boy Scouts of America for their Wicked Cool Autumn Welcome which features a fall themed day of family fun: pumpkin carving, wood-working, fishing, archery and more. Last year and this year the and more was a science cafe in celebration of National Chemistry Week! We won a ChemLuminary Award from the American Chemical Society for our 2013 collaborative efforts. Above is the participation patch that was given to all 400 children in attendance. 
This is what the cafe part of a science cafe for kids looks like: cookies, hot chocolate and oranges. Since it was almost Halloween, we had Halloween themed cookies. Special thanks to Amy Zahn and her son for baking 30 dozen cookies for our science cafe!

My eldest daughter and I wearing our Science is Fun t-shirts working the ACS table. We had some leftover Wicked Cool Science Cafe glow sticks from last year. We'll definitely get more of these for next year because kids love glow sticks.

Volunteers from Green Briar Nature Center conducting chromatography experiments for the Cape Cod Science Cafe.

My daughter doing what she loves best. Being the "test kid" before all the other kids get there.

Candy chromatography with M&Ms



Originally they had planned to use the peanut butter ones, too. But since we all know that kids have a way of ingesting things they shouldn't (we were concerned about allergies) so they crossed it off  the sign and eliminated it from the experiment. 


My daughter wanted us to do a "guess how many candies are in the jar" since the 2014 National Chemistry  Week theme is Candy, the sweet side of chemistry. Her grandfather and organizing committee member, Jack Driscoll,  suggested that we make the kids calculate how many instead of guessing and that way we add a STEM component to it. Then our company, PID Analyzers, contributed four $10 gift certificates to the bookstore for correct answers that were drawn by the Wicked Cool Autumn Welcome Chairman at the spaghetti dinner that followed the event. If folks weren't attending the dinner, they were asked to write their phone number on the paper in addition to their full name.
So this table became dubbed "the math table". Some kids had trouble with the term "units", some kids had parents who didn't understand and/or couldn't explain it to their kid, most of the kids could do it once we told them that it was a math problem. All the kids were impressed with the prize. Wow! A $10 gift certificate to the bookstore! I actually had one kid say, "Math! I wanna do science. Where's the science?"

This was the view from the dining hall where the Science Cafe was held, This is where the pumpkin carving and face painting took place.

One of our organizing committee members, Eben Franks, and his wife, brought along their cider press. This was located outside the dining hall door overlooking the pumpkin carving with a view of the lake.
































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