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Week 2

Mixing colors

While talking with the children about what a website is, one boy said, "It's where you go on the computer to find stuff out". So my next question was, "If we had a website for the Green Room Summer Camp, what should we put on it?" Another boy answered, "Us having fun!" I like that.

Mixing Colors-

The prime focus early this week was mixing colors. On Monday we read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. This story depicts three mice playing with paint on a white piece of paper. They do a little dance in each color to come up with new colors. This was the catalyst for children to discuss how to mix and create new colors. This turned out to be a very popular activity as children filled up sample container after container with new colors. They came up with names like "Yellow Mac and Cheese" and "Princess Pink". Later they tried to match their color to something in the room and in the end a large painting was done using the colors. Other types of paints were used for mixing throughout the week including water colors and finger paint.

Making a smoothie

Smoothie and Zucchini Muffins-

Using red strawberries, blueberries and white vanilla yogurt, the children mixed up some 4th of July smoothies. Each child had a turn to push the buttons on the blender and choose which mixing method they wanted, whip, crushed ice, blend, mix etc. There were a lot of purple mustaches after the snacking was finished!

Because there were several large squash growing in the school garden, everyone decided to mix up some zucchini muffins. Children broke eggs, stirred and measured all of the ingredients and ate the muffins for snack in the afternoon

Liquids and Solids-

During morning meeting the books, What is a Solid and What is a Liquid by Jennifer Boothroyd, were read to the children followed by a game to sort some classroom objects into a liquid pile and a solid pile. Some things in the basket were syrup, dish soap, and toys. Participants were asked to hold up a sign language "L" for liquid and an "S" for solids.

Children had a good discussion going on when a box of water colors was selected. In the end they agreed that it was both, a solid first and then when you added water it turned into a liquid for moving about with a brush.

Separation Experiment

Chemistry Building-

On Friday the campers walked to Dr. Isaacs’ lab at the Chemistry building on campus to see where people who study mixtures for a living work. In preparation the class was asked if they had any questions for the chemists. At Dr. Isaacs’s request children wore protective eye gear and were briefed on the importance of being safe in the lab. Isaacs’ Graduate Student, Steven Murkli, dressed in a white lab coat with his own safety goggles on, greeted the Green Room children and chaperons. The lab was prepared with numerous experiments to share with the campers.

The first example Murkli showed the children was a mixture combining blue and orange skittles. “Is that real candy?” asked one child. Murkli spent time showing the children how some mixtures could be separated. He showed how easily you could sort and separate the skittles. When he combined a solid into a liquid and created a solution he showed the children a special lab machine called a “Rotary Vap (for evaporation)” and started it up to do the more complicated separation. Another separation example he showed used a cotton ball as a filter.

One of the more popular mixtures that awed and amazed the children, was when a mixed solution glowed under a special light.  Steve Murkli emphasized that you can mix things together and and sometimes come up with something completely different from what you started with.

At the end the other chemists in the group handed out “flowers” made from a separation procedure using black marker on a circle of paper towel attached to a pipe cleaner and inserted in water. The water caused a rainbow of colors to separate and flow outward on the paper towel. One parent remarked that it was one of the best field trips he had ever been on and his daughter said, “I loved absolutely every part of it!”

Future activities are planned to go along with the concepts that were learned at the lab.