Friday, June 28, 2013

Phenomenal Physics 2

We had another great week filled with even more physics adventures! On Monday, we visited the U-M Physics Department and saw all sorts of cool physics demos. We learned how our eyes focus light that enters, we saw how a wine glass breaks under certain sound wave frequencies, and we even saw some awesome cannons that fired when a battery was charged with high voltage, and then released all at once! Then we came back to the Museum of Natural History and played with our Magnus Gliders, made from Styrofoam cups and rubber bands.
Flying our Magnus Gliders outside the Museum

Learning about wave frequencies at the Physics Demo

Learning how an eyeball focuses light

Watching a wine glass shatter due to high frequency

The awesome tennis ball cannon!

Tuesday was all about optics and light. We explored convex and concave lenses, and say how they bend light differently. We made hidden messages and then put colored cellophane over them to see which colors would bring out the message. We discovered the opposite colors on the color-wheel work together- so a hidden message in yellow or orange would come out if you put blue cellophane over it.  Finally, for our big event of the day, we dissected cow eyes! Despite the fact that is was a little gross, it was really cool to see the different parts of the eye and what each is used for! We found the optic nerve, retina, lens and something called a tapetum, which reflects light in the eye when its dark so animals can see better at night.
Dissecting a cow eye

On Wednesday, we took a field trip to the Hands-On Museum. We spent a little bit of time on each floor, and had a lot of fun playing with all of the exhibits! Some of our favorites were the bubble ring and the rock wall.

Learning about sand dunes at the Hands On Museum

Thursday we talked about polymers, which are long chains of molecules that get all tangled up and stick to each other! We did some experiments to see what kind of materials are polymers and even made our own chains out of paper that helped us to understand what a polymer is. Then we used our new knowledge to make Gravi-Goo, a gel that self-siphons, and Borax slime, and saw how these polymers stuck together and even stuck to our hands (and the floor…oops.)

Making polymer chains

Mixing the Gravi-Goo

We spent our last day exploring sound. We did several activities, including sound charades, where we had to make sounds like car horns and crunching leaves, and sound houses, which sing a note when you swing them around. We also made sound sandwiches and guitars out of materials like cardboard, popsicle sticks, straws and rubber bands! It was a very musical (and noisy) day, and a fun way to end a fantastic week!
Playing our sound sandwiches

Sound Charades

We are excited to see both old and new friends next week for our first session of forensic science camp, CSI: Ann Arbor. We will need all the help we can to get to the bottom of some mysterious situations, and hope our campers can help us out!!

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