After handing out the brand new composition notebooks to the scholars-turned-scientists, Ms. Fleming gave out the supplies for the first project: vinegar, baking soda, warm water, and gummy worms. The students soaked their gummies in the soda water for fifteen minutes before carefully transferring them to the cups of vinegar. While waiting for their worms to soak, students had to write their own hypothesis or educated guess (about what would happen next) in their new notebooks.
After fifteen minutes had passed, the scientists moved their worms from the baking soda to the vinegar. The students watched as the worms came alive. They started to float and move up and down. This was because the vinegar reacted with the baking soda to form carbon dioxide gas bubbles on the worms. The carbon dioxide gas bubbles rose up through the vinegar and caused the worms to wriggle until the reaction stopped.
The second experiment involved making a pinwheels out of a balloon, tape, straw, pushpin, and a pencil. Scholars prepped their balloons by stretching them with air and/or their hands. Next they stuck the straw to the pencil eraser, and securely taped the balloon to the straw. They were then challenged to blow their balloon up and watch it cause their handmade pinwheel to spin. This project demonstrated Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion, which says that for every action, there is an equal, and opposite, reaction. In this case, where the air from the balloon rushes back out of the straw, it pushes the straw in the opposite direction, creating the pinwheel spin.
Students enjoyed their educational afternoon with their “new teacher.” They all begged her to come back with more activities in the future.
Pictured (L to R): Trinity Brinson, Heavenly Williams, Yazmin Martinez, Major Drake, Tray Fleming (parent), Brooklyn Bono, Jakeel Stokes, Travis Scott, Jose Martinez