the whole diet coke and mentos thing works really, really well. my daughter had her 7th b-day party this past weekend and she had a science theme. we had 17 first graders running from science station to science station. as expected, i think this was the session that caught the most attention:<br><br><img src="http://homepage.mac.com/jayhawk/.Pictures/mentos_diet_coke.jpg" width="528" height="800" alt="BOOOOM" /><br><br>--<br>"I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country" --president bush on 9/27/05
Loc: Lancaster PA USA
Cool photo, Sean.<br><br>And I gotta tell you what, Science Fair parties are even super fun for an adults-only gathering. If you have the type of friends who are game for it, anyway.<br><br>Looong before the whole Make Magazine/Maker Faire/DIY ethos we see around the web now, back in the mid 80's - mid 90's a bunch of us used to get together for science fair parties.<br><br>We had tons of cool Rube Goldbergian devices, chemical and pyro stuff, pre-internet circuit bending and audio experimentation with homemade instruments, flying models and paper airplane contests...all kinds of cool stuff.<br><br>One year, two brothers I know set up a still in the back yard in the morning and brought a bunch of their Dad's tasty & strong homemade wine. By early evening we had a couple quarts of high-potency booze. Tasted kinda funny (not horrible, though), but dang, it sure kicked the party into high gear.<br><br>What other science stations did you guys have set up for the kids? <br><br>
we had bill nye the science guy playing on DVD when the girls arrived. our thinking is that diet coke is less sticky than regular coke because it has no sugar so that's what we used. but i've since learned that diet works better. whew. cleaned up quite easily; though, the candy gets sticky . . . at least the little bits that don't fully dissolve. we also tried the fruity mentos. duds. you've got to use the minty ones. we had a test tube that fit the mentos just right. about 7 mentos in the test tube works best. have the test tube upside down and have a piece of paper between the opening on the tube and the opening on the bottle top. pull out paper and move the test tube a split second later and get back.<br><br>this was the last explosion. i think we had 4 groups of 4 girls and each group did 2 bottles worth. we then finished off the rest as parents arrived so they could enjoy. the little girl in the background is just a few feet from her mother and they are probably 10 feet back.<br><br>when the girls came in, we gave them little white lab jackets and protective goggles. we also gave them name tags and had each name start with Dr. we referred to them as "Dr." and their name all afternoon. my wife is on a kick where she wants every girl my daughter's friends crowd to like math, science -- she's also been on an engineering kick as well lately. i have more responsibility for my 5 year old son. i've just recently taught him how to play Mario Sunshine on the GameCube. perhaps my marriage is in trouble. <br><br>other experiments included making volcanoes (same station as the diet coke) using model volcanos and baking soda and vinegar. <br><br>we had a station to make slime using borax, elmer's glue, and something else (i only saw the slime; not the experiment). i had a station where i had taken really close up photos of things and had the girls view a slide show on television. i'd pause each photo and let the girls look for clues up close, etc. they'd write their answers in a notebook and then i'd tell them the answers. some were easier like this:<br><br><img src="http://homepage.mac.com/jayhawk/.Pictures/berries.jpg" width="433" height="325" alt="" /><br><br>and some stumped many girls like this one:<br><br><img src="http://homepage.mac.com/jayhawk/.Pictures/tp.jpg" width="433" height="325" alt="" /><br><br>though, the girls who got this one above started laughing as soon as they knew it.<br><br>we had a station where they had a microscope and looked at some objects under the microscope and another fun station of optical illusions.<br><br>we soaked the hot dogs in a green food coloring and sprayed various food coloring on the buns. the food looks pretty gross -- a tie-dye food was not appetizing to me, but the girls enjoyed it.<br><br>i think a grown up science party could be really cool. when i looked online for some kid experiments, i easily found a million things that were perfect for older kids and even adults. now you've got my me wheels spinning. <br><br>oh yeah, answers for the photos above (as if anyone doesn't know): cranberries and toilet paper.<br><br>--<br>"I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country" --president bush on 9/27/05
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Wow that is so cool Sean. Your daughter and her friends will remember this forever.<br>I still remember my fifth grade party when Keith Goble stuck his hand in the ballerina cake playing pin the tail on the donkey. Imagine how much better your daughter's party was.<br><br>oh yeah, that's going in the blog
Loc: Lancaster PA USA
<OL>"...my wife is on a kick where she wants every girl my daughter's friends crowd to like math, science..."</OL>I like this.<br><br>Time is long past where little girls should have any reason to think they can't be good at math and science, just because they're girls. Parents need to quit actively—or even more insidiously, passively—discouraging them or reinforce stereotypes in any way. There's nothing wrong with being feminine at all, but I liken young girls embracing the sciences as being in a similar vein to girls growing up being a bit tomboyish—playing ball, building tree forts, rough housing, exploring the woods and creek beds on a critter search...stuff like that. All these things go toward the development of women who are leaps and bounds more interesting as humans than vapid cheerleader types.<br><br>As for adult science fair parties...this can be a tricky thing to spring on people who are more comfy with a simple BBQ and beer bash, or a cocktail mixer with a constant recorded music soundtrack playing.<br><br>It requires effort on the party goers, stuff they might not be used to.<br><br>My friends who used to get together to do this sort of thing were all naturally inclined to making an enormous effort to bring something impressive to the parties, and every year the displays and demos got better and better.<br><br>Depending on where your friends are coming from, and how energetic they are, you might have to do some research, and send out info packets about possibilities for projects, and a list of places to get materials.<br><br>But I guarantee that a lot of memories will be made.<br><br>Here's another goodie:<br>Put out poster boards and TONS of colored magic markers & Sharpies, pencils, pens, colored india ink bottles with the dropper tops (plus swizzle straws to blow drops of ink around...very cool!), smudge stumps, brushes, crayons, acrylic paints, water colors, colored pencils, chalks, charcoal sticks, hobby-sized cans of spray paint, stencils, etc and let your guests go nuts. <br><br>If you place the table in the right spot where people will naturally gravitate toward it often throughout the party, you'll end up with some nice permanent reminders of the day. It helps to coach the more creative attendees to get the ball rolling and create a bit of a visual framework. Others who might be less inclined to take up the art materials will see how much fun it is and add something to the posters...even if it's only a hand-written "Thank You" for hosting the party.<br><br>
LOL I got both close ups immediately.<br>NJ is the Cranberry Capital of the World<br>(how sad is that?)<br>And even sadder...<br>I'm the one that gets to change the roll. <br><br>[color:white].</font color=white><br>[color:white]. . </font color=white>
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