19 October 1999

Notes Prepared by Earl Zwicker

**Christine Scott (Beethoven School)**

made us think about what is a solid or liquid by
showing us how make butter from cream: shake the cream and
two marbles in a closed jar - butter! (handout) Also, used
a blender (no marbles!) and it seemed to work. Christine
also used the blender to puree cored apples, and we tasted
samples of this "vita juice" that "will make you 20 years
younger." Which of these is a solid or liquid? Ideas?!

**Joyce McCoy (Spencer School)**

combines reading, math and science (1st grade) by having her
students make helicopters from paper following printed directions.
(handout) May be decorated (art?) before cutting out. The
joys of flying!

**???**

used leaves to show properties of matter by observing color, shape,
flexibility, etc.

**Carolyn McBride (Manierre School)**

had us write down a 4 digit number. Then we arrange the digits
in order from greatest to least and then least to greatest and
subtract. Repeat the process with the resultant number,
and continue. Repetition produces 6174. (handout) Next,
starting with pages from a calendar, students find common
multiples by circling numbers (color markers) which are
multiples of 2; enclose in a square multiples of 3; ...a
triangle for multiples of 5;...and use an X for multiples
of 7. From this, we could deduce the least common
multiples of a list of numbers, such as 10, 21, 14, etc.
Nice! Carolyn passed out a "Hiking to a Rescue" page,
posing a problem to be solved by students in groups of 4.
No time left for us to do it. Good ideas!

**Beverly Merchant (Soujourne Truth School)**

(handout) gave each group of us a small container of
water, an eye dropper and pennies. How many water drops
will the penney hold before water spills off? Children
must guess, and then learn about the "skin" (surface
tension) that keeps drops coalesced together until the
"skin" can no longer hold. Counting, developing
experimental and observational skills, recording data.
Explore with nickel? dime? quarter? Guess, then do.
Wonderful!

**Erma Lee (Williams School)**

gave us a paper with (2 inch diameter) circles printed on it;
some circles had several segments at different radii. We colored in
various segments using 3 primary colors, and then cut out the
circles. We then mounted various of the paper circles on
tops that we made to spin, seeing color mixing in the
process. There were many other activities involving color,
drawing, and even Hallowe'en. Pretty!

**Shirley Hatcher (Williams School)**

(handout) showed us seeds & science. Starting with different kinds
of seeds (lima bean, garbanzo bean, corn, sunflower, etc),
how many (of each kind) does it take to cover a 5 inch
straight line on a piece of paper? How many of each to
balance a teddy bear doll? Again - observation, counting,
recording data, manipulating. Estimating in advance what
the result might be in each case. Great!

**Stephanie Ruffin (Metcalfe School**

had sets of graduated cylinders, stirring rods (straws),
stop watches, and various pain reliever pills set out on
the front table. Curiosity set in! Teacher had a headache
and was cranky, so which pain reliever will act fastest to
bring back her good-natured self? Groups of 4 of us
experimented to determine which pain reliever dissolved
most rapidly: Two brands of enteric coated aspirin, two
brands of light coat aspirin, and two non-aspirin brands.
A solution of vinegar was heated to near body
temperature in order to approximate stomach liquids, and
we measured dissolving times in that. Stephanie had us
report our results by group after about 15 minutes. We
learned that enteric coatings were designed for the
medication to pass through the stomach and into the
intestines for absorption, while others dissolved in the
stomach. Results appeared consistent over the groups.
Stephanie explained that this had been a science fair
project, and once her students have done a project, they
must make it into an experiment for the class to do a
later on. Neat ideas!

**Denise Murphy & Shirley DeSadier (May school, 5-8)**
have students do lessons from the internet. (handout)
In groups of 4, each group received a plastic tray (about
9x12 sq in, 2+ in deep) which was filled with water. Each
person received a piece of aluminum foil. We had to design
and construct a boat, and then test to see how many
pennies each boat would hold before sinking. A wide variety of shapes
and sizes were made and
tested. Which
worked best? Next time!

**Therese Tobecksen (St Anthony School, Calumet City)**

showed us orange and black construction paper
cutouts, designed to illustrate symmetry. Hallowe'en
figures (bat, pumpkin, moon, etc) were a theme. Orange on
one side, black on the symmetrically reflected side. We
constructed some with scissors and patterns. Quite young
minds could grasp the idea of symmetry through this. Very
nice!

**Carl Martikean (Wallace School, Gary)**

told us the tale of the brick layer who was lowering a barrel of
bricks from the 6th floor of a building. The barrel was
connected to a rope over a pulley and down to the ground
where it was securely tied. When he, on the ground,
untied the rope, the barrel came down and he went up. At
the 3rd floor he met the barrel coming down and broke his
arm, etc. This was a form of Atwood's Machine. To simulate
this, Carl placed a cord over a smooth, horizontal rod
mounted on a ringstand. A bunch of keys was tied to one
end and suspended 3 feet above the floor, and Carl
attached a book of matches to the other end which he held
out horizontally. "What will happen when I let go?" asked
Carl. After we made some guesses, Carl released the
matches. Much to our surprise, as the keys fell toward the
floor, the book of matches was pulled toward the rod, even
while falling down (like a pendulum). The book of matches
gained angular momentum, which cause the string to wrap
several times around the rod, where friction finally held
everything at rest, with keys suspended above the floor!
Good physics, Carl! For a very sad tale about a bricklayer,
see this website http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=7866

**Al Tobecksen (Richards School)**

got two volunteers help. He had two pieces of rope, each with a
loop at its two ends. He placed the loops over the wrists
of the volunteers, and had the ropes linked together.
Challenge! Free yourselves from each other without untying
or removing the ropes from your wrists. After some tries,
we could see this was a tough one. Finally, Roy Coleman
and Earl Zwicker (who had done this in the past), showed
how. Can you do it now? A topographical puzzle! Thanks,
Allen!