Physics Experiments with Static Electricity

This video contains some great easy to do physics experiments that all use static electricity.  Most are really low prep too which isn’t always the case with physics.

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There’s a Place for You in Engineering!

This lovely crest has been developed by Engineers Canada as part of their Engaging Girls program.  Their website reads:

Engineers Canada has developed and released a Girl Guides crest, to be presented to Girl Guides who complete engineering-related activities under the supervision of a professional engineer or an engineer-in-training. These activities—such as those that present an understanding of how vehicles work, the concept of simple machines, how lipstick is made, to name just a few—expose young girls to the engineering that can be found in everyday life and give them an understanding of how the world around them works.

Anyone interested in using the crest can contact Engineers Canada to confirm conditions of use and order required quantities.

If you have an engineer coming into your meeting to do a presentation to the girls, you may want to inquire about the crest.  Contact information in on the Engaging Girls page.

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.

Cookie Bites Challenge

Nova Scotia has released a new cookie based challenge: Cookie Bites.  Unlike the Cookie Rising badge, this challenge is divided into Creative, STEM, Active Living and Events sections and includes a wide variety of activities in each section.  It might be a great way to shake the dust off of preparing your girls for cookie selling this spring.

Please note: Some Guiders (myself included) are having trouble viewing the challenge on the Nova Scotia site.  I’ve read the challenge when it was posted on the Unofficial Girl Guides Facebook group.  Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

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.

A Very Magical Camp

A Residential Camp for Guides

Theme: Harry Potter and other magical stories

Guide Program: This camp should complete the Chemistry badge and/or the Camp Out badge.

Patrols: Start your camp with a sorting ceremony to divide your girls into Houses.  You can use the traditional four houses from the Harry Potter books, the North American school houses, or make up your own.

You could give each house a chance to design a house banner based on their house colour and an animal they pick.

Classes

We did the classes as a round robin o activities with 4 stations 20 – 30 minutes at each.  

  1. Care and Handling of Magical CreaturesElephant Toothpaste (Hippogryph Beak Scrub) and Dancing Raisins (Dancing Sewer Grubs) 
  2. TransfigurationChromatography butterflies and colour changing potion
  3. Defense Against the Dark ArtsExploding Apples 
  4. Potions – Goop and Methos in Diet Coke 

Note: Making slime with borax or laundry starch would fit the theme of these classes too but I can’t recommend it after the Health Canada’s warning about making crafts with Borax.

Crafts

Games

Readings

Magic in Our Friendship
The Gift of Happiness

“We do not need magic to change the world; we carry all the power within ourselves already; we have the power to imagine better…”
– J.K. Rowling

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”
– Nora Roberts

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Outdoor Activities

Hike to Hagrid’s or do a night hike though the forbidden forest depending on your camp site

Hold a scavenger hunt where the items to find are all made up things from the Harry Potter universe such as

  • Doxy Eggs
  • Fluxweed
  • Shrivelfig
  • Bezoar
  • Veela Hair

Let the girls imagination determine when they find something

Food

There are lots of ways to incorporate Harry Potter themed food into your camp, here are a few:

  • Polyjuice Potion: Sprite with lemon or lime sherbet
  • Butter Beer: Vanilla Cream Soda and butterscotch ice cream
  • Chocolate Frogs
  • Calderon Cakes
  • Pumpkin Pasties

Songs

Witchcraft

Magic Penny

Magic
When I was young I thought the stars were made for wishing on
And every hole deep in a tree might hide a leprechaun
Old houses all had secret rooms, if one could find the key
I do believe in magic, I believe.

Chorus:
Magic is the sun that makes a rainbow out of rain
And magic keeps the dream alive to try and try again
Magic is the love that stays when good friends have to leave
I do believe in magic, I believe.

Growing up the grown-ups said someday I’d wake to find
That magic’s just a childhood dream I’d have to leave behind
Like clothes that would no longer fit and toys that I’d ignore
I’d not believe in magic anymore.

When I grew up I learned again, that much to my surprise
Magic did not fade away, it took a new disguise
A child, a friend, a smile, a song, the courage to stand tall
I do believe in magic, after all.

Last Chorus:
Magic is the sun that makes a rainbow out of rain
And magic keeps the dream alive to try and try again
Magic is the love that stays when good friends have to leave
I do believe in magic, yes I do believe in magic,
Love is the greatest magic, after all.

 

Dancing Raisins

There are two methods to get raisins to dance for you.  Why not try both and see which works best.

Method One

  • A large clear glass
  • Hot water (boiling)
  • Raisins
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vingear
  • Food colouring (optional)
  1. Fill the glass 3/4 full of the hot water and stir in two table spoons of baking soda. You can add a few drops of food colouring if you like.
  2. Add a handful of raisins to the bottom of the glass.
  3. Top up the glass with vingear.  There will be a lot of bubbles at first but then the raisins should start slowly going up and down inside the glass.

Method Two