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Science in Action (Brownie Try-it)

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Science in action try-it

Science in Action Try-it [retired]

This Try-it was introduced in 1989 and retired in 2011.

These activities will help you understand more about science in your life.

As with all older Brownie Try-its, scouts need to complete 4 activities to earn the badge.

Science and Technology Hunt Edit

Technology is a way of using science to create tools that make life easier for people. Go on a science and technology hunt! Each of the things on the following list is an example of science or technology at work. How many of them can you find?

  • Something made of plastic
  • Something made from trees
  • Something that moves in a circle
  • Something that comes from the earth
  • Something that uses a switch
  • Something made of metal
  • Something that uses electricity
  • Something that uses wheels
  • Something that measures
  • Something that makes or uses sound
  • Something from the ocean or a lake
  • Something run by a computer

Weird Glop Edit

Almost everything in the world is a solid, liquid or gas. Things can change from solid to liquid to gas. It changes to a solid when it freezes. When it boils and you see steam, it has become a gas.

Weird glop isn't really a solid or a liquid. Do not eat it!

In order to make weird glop, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Bowl
  • Food coloring
  1. Pour the water into the bowl.
  2. Add the cornstarch a little at a time while stirring.
  3. Keep mixing until all your glop looks and feels the same.

How is weird glop different than water? How is it different from starch? Store the glop in a plastic bag. What can you do with it? Try adding food coloring to make blue, green or red glop.

* * *

Believe it or not, scientists are actually studying glop and how it works: news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/07/cornstarch-physics-is-shear-nons.html. Their idea is that the water in glop moves around the cornstarch particles slowly. So if you stick a spoon in glop quickly, it acts like a solid - the water can't move fast enough to get out of the way and it "breaks" like its solid. If you have a spoonful of it, though, you can pour it like a liquid, because this process is slower and the water has more time to rearrange around the cornstarch particles.

Balloon Blowing Edit

Try to blow up a balloon without using your own breath. This will take several people working together.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • A small plastic bottle (with a neck over which you can place the mouth of the balloon)
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • A small balloon
  1. Pour the vinegar into the plastic bottle.
  2. Stretch open the balloon mouth and carefully pour the baking soda into the balloon.
  3. Place the balloon mouth over the bottle. Make sure the balloon mouth is tightly around the neck of the soda bottle.
  4. Hold the balloon to the side so that the baking soda does not fall into the bottle.
  5. Shake the balloon so that the baking soda falls down into the bottle.

What happened? Can you figure out why?

A Butterfly of Manly Colors Edit

The ink in a black felt-tip pen is made from chemicals of different colors. Mixed together, these colors look black. How can you see the different colors?

You will need:

  • A black, water-soluble, felt tip pen
  • A coffee filter
  • Scissors
  • 1 cup of water
  1. Fold your filter in half and cut out a butterfly shape.
  2. Using your felt tip pen, run a heavy black line down the center of the fold (open your filter so the whole body of the "butterfly" shows and draw down the center of it's body).
  3. Dip the filter into the cup of water.

Watch closely, but don't touch the filter. What happens?

Magnetic Box Edit

Make a magnetic attraction box.

You will need:

  • A small cardboard box (or plastic container with a top)
  • Steel wool
  • Plastic wrap
  • A magnet
  • Tape
  1. Have an adult cut the steel wool into small pieces for you.
  2. Place the pieces in the bottom of the box so that they cover the bottom completely.
  3. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the box. Tape the plastic wrap to the box.
  4. Move the magnet underneath the steel wool pieces to make patterns on the bottom of the box.

What kind of patterns can you make? How far away can you hold the magnet and still make the steel wool move?

Light and Color Edit

All colors are made from three basic ones: red, yellow and blue. These are called primary colors. How do you make other colors from these three colors?

You will need:

  • Scissors
  • 4 flashlights
  • Red, blue, yellow, and green balloons
  • White wall or ceiling or white sheet of paper
  • Dark room
  1. Cut the neck off the balloons.
  2. Stretch the balloons across the flashlights.
  3. Turn off the lights in the room.
  4. Shine the red light onto the white surface.
  5. Shine the blue light onto the red.

What happens? What color do you see?

Combine the green with red, yellow, or blue.

Red plus blue = ___________________
Red plus yellow = _________________
Yellow plus blue = ________________

What happens when you shine all four colors together?

Additional Resources Edit

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