21 March 2000

Notes Prepared by Porter Johnson

OUR NEXT MEETING...

...will be April 04, 2000

4:15 p.m.

Section A (K-5) meets in 111 LS

Section B (4-8) meets in 152 LS

Be sure to sign up for a presentation if you haven't

already done so!

SECTION PRESENTATIONS REFRESHMENTS

Apr 4 A Christine Scott Ben Butler Jr

Lilla Green Kenneth Onumah

Shirley Cesair Carolyn McGee

Carolyn McGee Iona Greenfield

Ben Butler Jr

B Janet Sheard Janet Sheard

Earnie Garrison Charlene K. Smith

________________ _________________

_??? OTHERS ???_ _________________

SEE YOU THERE!!

AT OUR LAST MEETINGS (March 21)...

- A very special website about many influential and inspirational
heroes of the
__African-American experience__is under development by a group called**The History Makers**. Their site, which is still under construction, promises to be a significant multi-media presentation. It is modeled upon a "holocaust experience" or "shoat" website, relating to the Jewish experience in Europe during the Second World War ... (and I am trying to get information on that website, as well!). Here is the URL for**The History Makers**: http://www.thehistorymakers.com/ - Recent Academic Year SMILE write-ups have been placed on the
SMILE home page. Check them out at the URL
http://www.iit.edu/~smile.
The write-ups are being put up
**first**on my home page, http://www.iit.edu/~johnsonp, and then transferred over to the SMILE home page.

**Making a "Rippling Rainbow"**:

What will happen if you drop 10 drops of red food coloring into a jar of**H**? Watch the diffusion of food coloring throughout the liqud._{2}0- Place 2 cups of uncooked rice into a quart jar, and put in a
large
marble (or ping-pong ball). After putting the marble in, put on the lid
and turn upside down. The marble will be at the bottom. Give
the jar a few vertical shakes, and note the marble comes to the top of
the jar. Why?? As you shake the jar, the rice will fill in the spaces.
The marble is too large to do this, so that it will work its way to the
top.
**Question:**__Is this why the large cashew nuts are at the top of the box when you open it, even they are also the most dense of nuts? Amazing!__

__ Marie Wong (Warren School; First Grade)
Guessing the number of jelly beans in the bag:__ The actual
number was 355, and the closest guess was 350. [How, other than by
pure luck, can you get this close?] Do this exercise with a class,
and list the guesses in order from the least to the greatest, to study
their distribution.

In the second activity each person was given a bag of jelly beans.
First
they estimated the total number of beans, as well as the number of
beans of each color. Then, the beans were sorted by colors and counted.
Next, a graph of estimated and actual numbers were plotted for each
color
and for the total [bar graphs]. Finally, everybody gets to eat the
beans.
**All five senses are thus brought into this exercise. Delicious!**

**Ernest Garrison (Jones Commercial HS)**

**Polymers, continued** He mixed chemicals obtained from
**Flinn Scientific** to make a type of "polyurethane foam".
He added one teaspoon of a monomer foam **called Part A**
to one teaspoon of the other monomer foam **called Part B**,
and then stirred the mixture for a few minutes. The resultant
"compound??"expanded, gave off heat, and in its final
form it felt firm, resembling **styrofoam**. Check the website
for Flinn Scientific:
http://www.flinnsci.com/.__
__

__ Cynthia Southern (Spencer School; Kindergarten)
__She showed a picture of Michael Jordan's hand, and had us estimate
how many great northern white beams it would require to cover
that hand. Then, we placed the beans on his hand, and we compared
our estimates with the number required, which was about 120.

**RaeLynn Schneider (Williams School)**

**Stored Energy**

- Take two "stub" pencils and bind them firmly with a rubber band. Now twist them and let go. What happens?
**Windup Whirlygig**Make a merry-go-round with one oatmeal box, decorated with spirals on the vertical surface, a plate centered and attached onto the top with a rubber band which goes through the box and is also held at the bottom. Attach paper horses to the plate with strings. While holding the box in place, rotate the plate to wind up the rubber band to store energy, as before, and then let the plate go. As the rubber band unwinds inside the merry-go-round turns.

**References**:- Science Art Projects and Activities That Teach Science Concepts and Develop Process Skills, p 93-95, Deborah Schecter [1999 ISBN 059 - 089643 -1]
- Hobby Fun Book for Grade School Boys and Girls, p 44, Margaret Hyde and Frances Keene [The Seahorse Press 1952]

- Cut the a wrist watches out of paper [12 watches in all --- one
for every hour]. Laminate them by putting plastic packing tape on
each side. Each watch is stylish, and gives the correct time twice
daily!
With a set of 12 such watches, you can display the correct hour. This
"manipulative" is useful for teaching students to tell time!

__Monica Seelman (St James School; Williams School)
__ Sister Monica demonstrated paper folding. We made a
polyhedron
[a solid with many faces, each of which is a plane polygon] with

**or
**

**24 + 14 = 36 + 2
**

See you next time!__
__

**Pat Phillips (Arai Middle School)**

**Lesson on Probability** (handout)
It has been possible to get a **Pokemon Card** with a McDonald's
Happy Meal. Let us say that there are 6 different kinds of cards,
and that each is equally likely; i.e., each occurs with probability
**1/6**. How many Happy Meals must you order to get a full set
of six cards? We did a **Monte Carlo Simulation** of the process,
by putting two copies of each card [12 cards in all ] into a box,
and drawing cards randomly from the box, recording the card name,
and putting that card back each time. We were divided into groups
for this process, and each group did three trials. Here are the
data for one of the groups of number of "hits" for each card and
"total number drawn" to get a full set of 6 cards:__
__

Card Face | Trial #1 | Trial #2 | Trial #3 |
---|---|---|---|

Charizard | 1 | 2 | 4 |

Blastoise | 1 | 1 | 4 |

Mentuo | 1 | 1 | 1 |

Alakazam | 3 | 1 | 3 |

Dragonite | 3 | 1 | 1 |

Clefairy | 1 | 1 | 1 |

----------- | --- | --- | --- |

Total Number of Draws | 10 | 7 | 14 |

This group averaged **10.3 draws** in order to get a complete
set of cards, whereas the other groups averaged ** 17.3, 18.0, and
11.0** draws, corresponding to a class average of about **14.2
** draws. We were thus close to the average over many trials, which
is said to be about **14.5** draws.

One may determine and discuss the **mean, mode, and median** of
the trials. This exercise involves the application of notions of
probability in our everyday lives, for such things as batting and
shooting averages in sports, life insurance, quality control in
industry,
opinion polls, raffle tickets, etc. This
activity is consistent with the NCTM [National Council of Mathematics
Teachers] standards and the requirement to include "probability" in
the teaching of mathematics. Also "math" is linked with "reading",
as well as "sports", "politics" , and "consumerism".

**Porter Johnson** mentioned that such Monte Carlo Techniques
are very frequently used in science and engineering to get good
estimates
on numbers that are too difficult to calculate by "brute force". The
name was chosen based upon experiences by **Stanislaw Ulam**, a
scientist on the Manhattan Project in World War II, who became severely
ill just after the war, requiring several months of recuperation.
He began to play the card game **SOLITAIRE**, and began to wonder
what the odds of winning would be. He modified the usual rules
to require that **"every move that is not forbidden is compulsory",
just like in the US Army,** so that the outcome of each game would be
determined merely by the order of the cards in the deck. The total
number of different orderings of a deck with 52 cards is 52 factorial,
=
**52 !**, or

The odds [which may be about 1/3 for the most liberal of rules]
are "borderline impossible" to calculate, but you can play a few games
to get a qualitative estimate of them, and if you play many, many games
the estimate improves. Roughly speaking, with **N** trials, the
accuracy is of order 1 /Ö N, so that,
for example, in an "opinion poll" 625 people must be asked to get
4 % accuracy, since

According to the pollsters, their opinion polls are far more reliable as an indication of public sentiment than the actual elections, since about half of the eligible voters do not vote, and as a result the actual election is considered to be statistically biased, whereas the polls are not!

__Val Williams, Jr (Perkins Bass School, Band Instructor)
__How do the various types of
music affect
our central nervous system? We know that music has a profound effect
upon
our emotions [music soothes the savage breast; or is it "beast" ],
and there is some evidence and a popular consensus that you "think
better" with the right background music. That is, babies who listen to
Mozart and such learn to talk more quickly, etc.

Science through Music

How do we test this hypothesis? He developed a modest experiment,
based
upon the battery-operated board game Operation: Skill Game.
While wearing earphones, his trusty assistant **Jeremiah** played
the game. Over one minute intervals we recorded

**A: Number of Successes**the number of times he picked up an icon;**B: Number of Failures**the number of times he set off the buzzer;

Music Type | Success Count | Failure Count |
---|---|---|

No Sound at all | 4 | 4 |

Rhythmic Blues | 7 | 12 |

Soul Music | 4 | 10 |

Classical | 2 | 0 |

Rap | 6 | 3 |

One might be tempted to conclude the following:

- Jeremiah needs music to get going.
- "Rhythm" makes him both faster and more careless.
- "Soul" makes him more careless but not faster.
- Classical music makes him slow and careful.
- Functions well in a "rap" environment.

Next, Val gave the following mantra for good teaching---it should be all of these things:

- GRAPHIC
- SAFE
- SIMPLE
- RELEVANT
- FUN

**Estelvenia Sanders (Jones Commercial HS)**

**Science in Sign: Part XVIII**

She gave us signs for the following things:__
__

Bowl (hands holding bowl) | Water (3 fingers up) |

Sprinkle (fingers sprinkling) | Drop (1 finger down) |

Dishwashing liquid (s-o-a-p water) | Pepper (2 fingers on 2 fingers) |

full (hand off hand) | "full of it" (pointer on neck) |

watching (2 fingers out) | observing (both hands out) |

Procedure (hands rolling over hands) | ...etc... |

First, she did several experiments with water:__
__

Procedure | ---> | Outcome |
---|---|---|

Put in cinnamon | ---> | it sinks |

Put in black pepper | ---> | it floats |

...then add soap | ---> | ...pepper runs to edge |

Put in gumbo seasoning | ---> | it floats |

...then add soap | ---> | ...it runs to edge |

Put in season salt | ---> | it floats |

...then add soap | ---> | ...it runs to edge |

Next she asked why a solidly frozen plastic water bottle took all day to melt, if then. Points to consider:

- It takes 80 calories of heat to melt one gram of ice.
- The plastic container is not a good conductor or absorber of heat.
- If you don't put it on the radiator or in the sun, it absorbs less heat.
- You don't drink it fast enough!

The parameter s, as the name suggests, is the triangle perimeter divided by 2. Then calculate the area A according to the formula

**A = Ö [s x (s - a) x (s - b) x
(s - c)]
**

**Barbara Pawela (SMILE Staff Member; CPS Retired)**

**The Clanging Soda Pop Cans** (handout) to illustrate
**Bernoulli's Principle**.

Take two empty soda pop cans and lay out about two dozen drinking
straws in parallel [like railroad cross-ties] on a level table.

- Put the empty cans [straight up] on top of the straws, with the
edges about
**2 cm**apart. Blow [horizontally] between the cans, and notice that the cans move together. Why?? The Bernoulli Principle is at work. - Now, put the cans on the straws about
**5 cm**apart. Again, blow. You have to blow**much harder**to get the cans to move together.

See You next time!

Future Meetings

Apr 25 A Sophia Watson Sophia Watson

Virginia O'Brien

Iona Greenfield Claudette Rogers

Virginia O'Brien ___________________

Iona Greenfield ___________________

B Brian Cagle Brian Cagle

Pearline Scott Pearline Scott

Kim Baker Kim Baker__________________ ___________________

May 8 A Barbara Baker Barbara Baker

Chandra Price Chandra Price

__________________ ___________________

__________________ ___________________

B Brian Cagle ___________________

Mikhail Siddiq ___________________

__________________ ___________________

__________________ ___________________