Beady Neuron

This is a craft that is part of the Mental Health Awareness Challenge. You can find all the instructions here.  To easily adapt it to be a hat craft, replace the top bead on the first dendrite with a safety pin.

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Finding North without a Compass

This article from wikihow nicely illustrates how several methods for finding north if you are without a compass (or materials to make one).  It is best to have several tricks up your sleeve as they are often dependent on factors like the sun or stars.  Some of the ideas covered include:

Stick Method

Put a stick into the ground and mark the end of the shadow with a pebble.  Wait 15 min and mark the new end of the shadow.  Stand with one foot on each pebble and the stick behind you.  You’ll now be facing north.

Polaris

The star Polaris (or North Star) is approximately north and is visible throughout the Northern Hemisphere.  Find Polaris and then draw a mental line straight down to the horizon.

Observe Nature

Moss often (but not always) grows on the north side of trees where it is the most shaded.

World Space Week

The first Make a Difference Day for 2017-18 is World Space Week – October 4-10th. National has released an instant meeting to help you mark this STEM based week.    I do a lot of space activities already with my Guides so many of these ideas I’ve seen before but I’m glad to see them being promoted.  I am quite interested in the Life on a Space Station activity though.

If you want some alternative ideas, check out the Meeting in a Box: Space from Quebec.  I like the active Solar System game.  I think the girls would have a lot of fun with it.

Observing the Eclipse

Just a reminder that on Monday August 21st, 2017 there will be a eclipse of the sun visible throughout much of Canada and the United States.   Eclipse are an amazing and very accessible astronomical phenomenal but it is important to take precautions to protect your vision if you are going to observe a solar eclipse.   You may want to order something like this Eclipse View from RASC now so you are prepared for the summer.  Otherwise you may want to consider making a pin hole camera.  

Polymers without Borax

The Chemistry Badge contains an option for exploring polymers by making borax slime.  Making borax slime has been a popular science experiment for many units but sadly Health Canada put out a warning last year encouraging people to cut back on their borax exposure by not doing crafts with it or making home made pesticides.  You will find many slime recipies on the internet that claim to be borax free but use liquid starch, contact lens solution or Tide Free Liquide detergent.  Most formulations of these products contain borax or boric acid on their ingredient.  And I suspect if you find a version that doesn’t it won’t work well as it is the chemical interaction between the glue and the borax that makes these work

These two project though allow you to explore polyers with your girls without borax.

Milk Plastic

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • strainer or coffee filters
  • small bowls
  • food colouring and/or sparkles (optional)
  • rolling pin and small cookie cutters

Instructions

  1. heat the milk until almost but not quite boiling
  2. add the white vinegar and stir until the milk goes lumpy.
  3. strain the mixture keeping only the solids
  4. kneed the solids  to get out more liquid.
  5. If you’d like you can add a little food colouring or other decorative elements
  6. roll out your milk solids and cut with a cookie cutter
  7. Let dry for one day then flip over and dry for another day or two on the other side.

Gummie Candies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fruit juice
  • 4 packs gelatin
  • bowl
  • pot
  • glass baking dish

Instructions

  1. mix 1/2 cup of juice with the gelatin and set aside
  2. heat remaining 1 1/2 cups of juice until just boiling
  3. add gelatin mixture to heated juice and stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
  4. pour into baking dish and refrigerate for 2 hours or more
  5. cut into cubes and enjoy.

Moon Viewer

I didn’t find this activity in time for my moon meeting but this is a really neat project to do along with or instead of Oreo Moons.  This idea comes from the Science Notebooking blog. To make it you need a black paper plate and a Popsicle or tongue depressor stick, some white paper, tape and glue.  Cut out the middle of the plate.  Tape the stick to the back of the plate.  Then cut out the different phase of the moon and glue them to the plate.

Alternatively, you can print out a more refined version of this project from E is for Explore!.

Once completed, girls can hold the plate up to the moon and figure out what phase it is in or between.