Math and Tracks

Vi Hart, my favorite YouTube mathematician, recently posted this video about going for a walk after a snow fall.  She has some great ideas about things to look for in the snow.

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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.