Spaghetti, Slime and Science

21 - Princess Blowing Up Balloon

Princess preparing her balloon.

Science day is the culmination of a week’s worth of engineering, science and technology study mixed with fun. Last Thursday, three schools worth of Perkins students enjoyed watching science in action both in the cafeteria and out on the basketball court. The best part? They were the scientists.

“This is the second year that we have done this,” science teacher Bonnie Walker said. “It’s a great way to showcase the fun you can have with science.” Last year, there were two challenges. One involved airplanes and the other, boats. This year there were three outdoor challenges and three indoors.

The first contest involved airplanes. “This was an engineering challenge,” Bonnie explained. “It involved making paper airplanes, trying them out and then going back to the drawing board to make better plans.”

New this year was the opportunity to create a balloon car that could travel a long distance. The students were given a 16 ounce bottle, a straw and a balloon. They needed to use these devices to create a car that would propel itself along the basketball court. “One of the elementary class’s cars went diagonally across the whole basketball court area and onto the grass,” Bonnie exclaimed. There was a winner in each of the three schools; high school, middle school and elementary school for each event.

Tristan and his slime.

Tristan and his slime.

Also new this year was the raft contest. For this challenge – which teaches surface tension technology – teams were given two straws, two 15 centimeter pieces of foil and tape. The question was how many pennies can your raft hold before sinking? “Because these kids are so creative, we had to have two categories. One for maximum tape use and one for minimum,” Bonnie said.

While all of this was going on outside, inside there were gumdrop bridges being built with 50 gumdrops and 100 toothpicks. The goal was to span a six inch gorge and to see how many pennies your bridge can hold. One bridge held 22 rolls of pennies! The groups inside also had the chance to make slime which they then brought home to play with and create spaghetti towers with 50 strands of spaghetti and miniature marshmallows.

At the end of the day, awards were given out by school and the students had a chance to talk about what worked and didn’t so they know what to change next time. Bill Nye the Science Guy would be proud.