"Evolution by natural selection, the central concept of the life's work of Charles Darwin, is a theory. It's a theory about the origin of adaptation, complexity, and diversity among Earth's living creatures. If you are skeptical by nature, unfamiliar with the terminology of science, and unaware of the overwhelming evidence, you might even be tempted to say that it's 'just' a theory. In the same sense, relativity as described by Albert Einstein is 'just' a theory. The notion that the Earth orbits around the sun rather than vice versa, offered by Copernicus in 1543, is a theory."
I'm thinking of a 5 digit number. When I put a "1" after it, the result is 3 times as large as when I put a "1" in front of it. What is the number?
Leticia Rodriguez [Peck Elementary
Leticia passed around sheets showing wheels divided into halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, ninths, and twelfths, as well as a spinner for generating the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 12. We were to spin twice (say 3, 12), form a fraction by putting the smaller number over the larger (3/12), and color that fraction in one of the wheels. The person who first colors all the wheels is the winner. What a neat way for students to learn fractions!
Very interesting game, Leticia!
John Scavo [Kelly
John first showed a remote control car, Tip Car, obtained by Santa Claus for about $10 at Walgreens. The car moves, spins, turns, and backs. It is closely related to a more expensive toy, the Rewinder, manufactured by Tyco Corporation: http://www.tycorc.com/default.aspx. A marvelous Christmas present for children of all ages. John also showed us a Magnetic Construction Toy [http://www.rogersconnection.com/index.html], as well as a wind-up, spining top that could be tossed and caught from paddle to paddle while spininng.
Good toys, John!
Roy Coleman [Morgan Park HS,
Roy announced a rocket launch (outdoors) at the Williams Science Center of Chicago State University next Monday, 15 November 2004. The rocket launch will be done by veteran SMILE participant John Bozovsky and Mel Sabella of Chicago State University: Tel 773-995-2172..
Happy (rocket) trails, Roy!
Dianna Uchida [Morgan Park
Dianna recently obtained the book Science Explorer [ISBN 0-7566-0430-3] for $12.97 at COSTCO. This book, published in 2004 by DK Eyewitness Books [http://www.dk.com], shows a beautifully illustrated and annotated variety of historical apparatus, and is rather wide-ranging. She cited the example of development of bronze tools for axe blades, swords, and (ouch!) razors in primitive society. Thanks for the information, Dianna!
Fred Schaal [Lane Tech HS
1 +1 = 1
Fred remains puzzled as to how the Volume and surface Area depend upon the radius of a black hole. Apparently, the standard formulas
Ann Brandon and Debbie Lojkutz [Joliet West HS,
Ann and Debbie first showed us the Peanut Butter Jar Accelerometer, and demonstrated how it works. They then gave each of us a plastic straw (with a small slit at one end), a piece of string, a big paper clip, and an arrow drawn on a small piece of paper. We tied one end of the string to the big paper clip, and tied a knot at the other end. Then we pushed the knotted end of the string through the unslit end of the straw and out through the slit end. Then we pushed the string through the slit, so that the knot would be caught. Next we attached the arrow to the paper clip, so that it pointed at the straw. We had thereby constructed our very own accelerometers, which we tested. They worked!
Ann and Debbie handed out the following sheet:
Ann and Debbie also called our attention to two items in a recent catalog of Frey Scientific: The first item, an Impact Car (#05578611, $7.75) [http://store.schoolspecialtyonline.net/OA_HTML/xxssi_ibeSearchResults.jsp?type=search&minisite=10029&query=impact+car] permits the measurement of the maximum force at impact. The second, a Large Lens Kit (#05527379, $64.55) [http://store.schoolspecialtyonline.net/OA_HTML/xxssi_ibeSearchResults.jsp?type=search&minisite=10029&query=large+lens+kit] contains several lenses with magnets on their backs, which are suitable and convenient for blackboard optics.
Thanks, Ann and Debbie!
Goberville [Joliet Central HS,
Rich showed us his Christmas gift (from himself!), a light-up tie obtained from the Enlighted website http://www.enlighted.com.There are various other types of novelty clothing available on that website. Very thoughtful of you, Rich! Rich also showed us a Magic Floating Snowball (Bernoulli Machine) that he obtained for about $12 from Menards. When the switch is turned on, a fan blows air out of a funnel-shaped hole, causing a light ball to be lifted. Neato! Finally, Rich passed around a sort of Chinese yoyo, which illustrates Newton's First Law; namely, it keeps on moving once it gets going. This device, which consists of a long strip of paper attached to and wrapped around a shaft. It should not be confused with the real Chinese Yoyo: http://www.chineseyoyo.org/index.htm.
Toys that show physics! Very interesting stuff, Rich!
Bill Shanks [New Lenox Environs, at
Water Source Detector?
Bill brought in a device with prongs that required batteries, which can be inserted into a soft medium or fluid It looked like a very large black plastic fork, with two metal-pointed tines. The device has the labels Well, Medium Well, Medium, Medium Rare, Rare, and Very Rare. It is not used to determine the source of water, but to give some indication as to the temperature. The device, a Thermal Fork, was obtained at Walgreens for about $10. How does it work? The following answers were given:
For additional information see New Types of Food Thermometers: http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-1482-Digital-Fork-Thermometer/dp/B00009WE44. A Very interesting question, Bill!
Monica Seelman [ST James Elementary
Divisibility Test for 7
Monica began by reviewing these simple rules to determine whether a given number is divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10:
|2||Last digit 2, 4, 6, 8, or 0|
|3||Sum of digits divisible by 3|
|4||Last two digits divisible by 4|
|5||Last digit 0 or 5|
|6||(Divisible by 2 and 3)|
|7||What about divisibility by 7?|
|8||Last three digits divisible by 8|
|9||Sum of digits divisible by 9|
|10||Last digit 0|
We are subtracting a multiple of 7 from the original number at each stage. If we end up with a result divisible by 7, then the original numbers is, as well. Simple, non? Now, how do we decide whether a number is divisible by 11?
- 4 OR - 42
- 4 - 420
1862 = 42 + 420 + 1400
= 7 ( 6 + 60 + 200 )
= 7 ( 266 )
We did not have time for Bill Blunk to make his presentation, entitled How Smooth is Smooth? Bill will be put at the top of the list for our next meeting, Tuesday 23 November 2004. See you there!
Notes prepared by Porter Johnson