Pink Fire Pointer July 2012

This Week at the Beaver Valley Library! and Draw!

Hurray! I'm back and working! :D

This week at the library Rhonda had a airplane in the sky day with the Little Einsteins!

Tomorrow we will continue our Science Exploration with the Young Professors! We are going to be observing the Strange ... But True? behaviour of water!!! WATER WEEK!

Tomorrow also means another Guest Wednesday! I'm excited for this one! Here's the poster! Hope I see you tomorrow!

Also! Here are the winners of the draw for last week! Congrats! And keep on reading you guys! Make sure to bring your reading records into the library so we can tally up your ballots!

Little Einsteins - Natasha!

Young Professors - Tyler!

Mad Scientists - Patrick!

Guest Wednesday! - Dr. Allyson Perrott of Selkirk College

Oh goodness me! I'm back at the library this lovely Tuesday morning and I guess I was too ambitious in thinking I could do some more posts over the weekend! Let's just say that my sister's bachelorette weekend was packed full of activity! I can now no longer move my arms properly, white water rafting seems so have awaken my untrained muscles in a very uncomfortable way! But nevertheless I am now very excited for her wedding in September!

But let's backtrack now! Last week was so fun and filled with science! So here is the story of our Guest Wednesday last week, where we hosted the lovely and intelligent Allyson Perrott! Enjoy, cause I took lots of pictures! 

Science Slide Shooooooow!
So after our busy Wednesday morning with the Young Professors! Allyson came into the library - which was covered in food colouring and slime - and set up her many goodies from Selkirk College. She prepared a slide show, along with 4 different fun science stations for us to go through!

To start we introduced Allyson to all the kids and then we moved on to listen to Allyson talk about chemistry! We talked about how the word "chemicals" generally gives us an uneasy feeling when we hear about it on the news or in conversation! But in reality, we learned that chemicals are basically EVERYTHING around us!!! So they aren't really bad all the time!

The safe way of smelling lab smells!
And then Allyson delved into the many Strange ... But True? factoids about science and chemistry! She told us about water, and how while it is a very well known and essential chemical in our world it is also very strange!!! We learned that water has a funny characteristic that separates it from other materials! Water, when in its frozen state floats in its solid state! That's why ice in our water floats! But it is quite odd, since generally speaking a solid is more densely compacted and has its molecules arranged closely together! But with water, the H2O molecules are actually spaced out and form a sort of crystalline shape do to the polarity of water and these bonds are called H-bonds! It's also the reason for the Strange ... But True? shapes of snowflakes!

Allyson also talked about smells! And how the structure of a molecule and its shape works in determining the smell that is translated to our brains by our nose! We sampled different smells and used the special scientist smelling technique that all the kids mastered in a flash!
A beaker full of water! ... or rather full of water molecule models! :) 

Allyson shared some candy, sweets and chocolates as well to match the smells that we smelled! AWESOME! She also eluded to the subtle differences in configuration in certain molecules that give each substance its own unique smell! (queue flashback to my classes at Selkirk! It was like a pop quiz for me!)

After her presentation, Allyson led us through her first planned activity, where we took ordinary glass vials and using some chemicals and energy (shaking!) we ended up with a reaction that coated our vial in silver!

Station #1 Silver Vial Coating! From right to left is the process of the before and after of our experiment!
Here are the pictures of the kids getting there flasks! Shaking up their vial and revealing their new silvered vial! Allyson told us that this procedure is similar to how mirrors are made! Cool!

Sydney and Serena shacking up their vial!
Getting their vials and adding a dropper full of Silver Nitrate and adding 10 drops of sugar solution!

Cody with a before and after of the vials!
Our next station was the SLIME station!!! Allyson had set up two burettes filled with borax and another solution. Everyone was given a cup to add food colouring into and then added the measured out amounts of borax and solution! Everyone was given a stir stick and away they went! We got slime to take home!

Station #2 Slime! I absolutely love this photo of Miss Jillian! with Tyler and Alicen as well!
Such good listeners!


Tyler and Cody playing with their slime!
Alicen with her slime!

Slime time!

Serena with her slime!
And lastly to finish off our exciting and awesome Guest Wednesday, Allyson set up an Acid Base Table! Here on our table we had bottles of red cabbage juice (which works as a great acid/base indicator!). When the red cabbage juice is combined with an acid, the colour of the mixture goes from red to a pinkish colour, whereas in a base the colour changes to a greenish blue or yellow! Around the table was an array of different examples of acids and bases that the kids could test out with the red cabbage juice!

Station #3 Acid and Base Indictator

Allyson gave everyone a little plastic beaker cup where they could mix up their solutions! And in the middle of the table we had a great big waste beaker to dump everything into after the experiment! The kids really enjoyed this! Especially when Cody discovered the baking soda and vinegar! EXPLOSIONS! 

Allyson with the kids at the acid/base table!
If you'd like to recreate this experiment at home here's a link to the recipe Allyson gave to us for making your very own red cabbage juice indicator!
Shoot! i forgot to take a group picture of the kids with Allyson :( But this one is the closest to a group picture as I got! 

The scientists hard at work!

Station #4 Molecule/Atom Model Kits!
Whew! It was a long day! And we made quite the mess! But the kids (and Rhonda and I!) had a blast! We learnt so much about chemistry and got to do a lot of hands on activities! The kids went home with their new silvered vials and slimy slime, along with a recipe for red cabbage juice! Allyson was so generous with her time and materials as she brought a whole lab to the library! Thank you so much Allyson! 

Come to the library this week tomorrow! Wednesday, August 1st for our Guest Wednesday with David DeRosa of Cominco! He will be talking to us about the animals and bugs that reside in Beaver Creek!

Thank you again Allyson! We had such a great time last week! So much so that I am mixing up our themes for the Summer Reading Club and continuing with another week of SCIENCE! Hurray! This week we are exploring the craziness and essential-ness of water, good ol' H2O!

Happy Reading everyone!

Week 4 - Science Week with the Young Professors

Scientist huddle around Tyler's experiment!
Mr. Scientist Chesney
I try to open each post with my favourite picture of the day, but from our Young Professors meeting today I had 2 favourites! The photo above of Cohen, Tyler and Cody playing with their rainbow of colours! and this photo below of a smiling Chesney!

WARNING - I took a lot of pictures, all week actually! The way I figure it, a photo is worth a thousand words right? Well prepare yourselves for an essay of photos :) 

So yesterday, Wednesday, July 25 (I can't believe July is almost over! :O) we had a fun-filled and busy-busy day at the library! As you probably heard this week is SCIENCE Week and boy what a week it was! 

Once we had everyone in the library (we had small numbers this week - 7 Young Professors in all) I asked the kids to do some story writing for me! Because... drum roll please .... 

The Beaver Valley Public Library is pleased to announce that this summer we will be holding a "Tell Me a Story: Strange ... But True? Story Writing Contest!". This Friday, July 27th, until August 10th we will be accepting fresh and unique stories (250 words and up, illustration are welcome!) that make us ask the question "is that story strange ... but true?". Fantastic, crazy, and amazing prizes are up for grabs for the winners! Age groups for our young authors will be as follows: 6-9, 10-12, and 13-15! For more information phone the library at 367-7114 or email Amanda at!

Hurray! This is going to be awesome! So my little ones, you had better start thinking of a good story to write! Rhonda and I are scavenging around for some good prizes! We have lots of ideas and lots of books and medals to give away! 

So yesterday I talked to the kids about it and got them to write or pretend to write so that I could get some good pictures to send to the Trail Times - look in this Friday's edition or on Monday for our picture! :) 

Here are the pictures I got around to taking!

Jenna, Sydney, Cohen and Joshua

Jenna, Sydney and Cohen

Tyler, Chesney and Cody
Tyler, Chesney and Cody, writing away!
Smiles from Jenna, Sydney and Cohen
 After that we delved into the theme this week! Science!

We read through the book "Science Verse" by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, I talked a bit about this book back in a previous post! See that post here:

Anyways, we read through some of the crazy poems of "Science Verse" and then proceeded to talk about states of matter! SOLIDS, LIQUIDS AND GASES! woot!

The kids are such good listeners and super smart! They knew about everything! We played around and pretended to be water molecules, H2O, jumping around the room like a gas and then flowing around like liquid until we were standing still in a nice huddle like a big ice cube!

Then I went into the next activity our "experiment" with water and milk, food colouring and soap! Have you ever tried this before? It's lots of fun! ^_^

Let the science begin! With Sydney, Tyler, Chesney and Joshua. I love the look on Sydney's face! Priceless!
What I did is I had the kids gather around my big newspaper-covered table where I had two bowl-ish paper plates! Then I poured out onto one of my plates some water, while onto the other I poured 10% half and half cream! I asked the kids about what's the difference between the cream and the water and we talked about their colour difference, the smells (we practised our special scientist technique of sniffing, a gently wafting of the hands of the air to your nose) and the difference of taste (from memory). I pointed out that water, when zoomed up real close, like everything else around us, is made of small particles called atoms that form molecules!

A lot of us already knew the chemical name for water, H2O.

Once we had thought of all the differences we could think of I explained to the kids that a big differences between the two was that while milk is made up of water, it contains lots of vitamins, minerals and fat and that's what gives it its colour!

I took out my food colouring droppers and asked the kids what they think would happen when I added food colouring into the water. Most of us guessed that it would spread out and fan throughout that plate. Which is indeed what happened! I told them that this process of movement within the molecules was called diffusion and that we experience diffusion a lot - especially when someone sprays perfume into the room! Eventually the whole room is filled with the perfume smell!

So into my water I added my food colouring drops and we watched as a lovely rainbow started to form with the more colours I added into the solution. Now I asked the kids what would happen to the food colouring when dropped into the cream!

Now here the food colouring didn't diffuse quite as effectively as it did in the water, but I did have a twist in mind!

I tried to explain how soap works to the kids, I'm not sure I explained it well, but the demonstation probably helped in explaining it more. But essentially, soap is made up of particles that have a hydrophilic (water loving) and hydrophobic (does not mix with water). Since grease, fats and dirt are made of hydrophobic particles, they don't mix easily into water. Therefore soap acts as a gateway into getting fat mixed into water so that it could be easily washed away! Thank you soap! Making doing the dishes easier since ... well for a long time.

Tyler testing the effects of soap in milk as Chesney and Joshua observe!
So that being said, when soap was added into their milk with the food colouring made some crazy motions! If you haven't tried this before ... and you should! it's real easy! ... the milk looks like its stirring or making ripple effects without you really doing anything to it! If your patient enough and hold a q-tip of soap into an area of the milk eventually you get a lovely firework of colours!

Cohen and Sydney.
The kids really enjoyed it! Everyone used fantastic spectrums of colours and mounds of soap! The kids did love added more and more colours to their concoctions and fairly soon their plates had amassed into a puddle of "swamp mix" as the kids liked to call it!

Here are some more pictures of the kids enjoying their science activity!

Cohen and Sydney

Cody and Chesney! Cody's milk rainbow!

o . O

Group Huddle!

Watching some science at work!

In this picture you can see the two big plates that I made for our demonstration! On the left side is a plate of water, where the food colouring quickly diffused and made a lovely mix of colours! I showed the kids the water and food colouring reacting to a q-tip of soap and alas nothing really happened! Besides the slight tilted of the plate on the table causes for some shifting of the colours in the plate.

To the right of my big water coloured plate is my very own plate full of milk and swirls of colours!

Sydney and Tyler.
Unfortunately, I had once again over planned my session with the Young Professors! But the kids really enjoyed the milk experiment so I thought it best to spend our time focusing on the milk and colours! I think perhaps next week I will continue with a science theme and use the leftover activities I had planned for our next visit!

Smiling Chesney!
That being said I did have some time to talk about the classic equal parts cornstarch and water mixture: Oobleck! (a term coined by the great Dr. Suess!) The kids really enjoyed it! And that brought us to a close for our Wednesday morning Young Professors' Summer Reading Club! (We than had the afternoon to look forward to! with our Guest Wednesday being Dr. Allyson Perrott from Selkirk College! Awesome!)

Happy Reading you guys! Sorry again for posting this a little later than expected! I'm actually on my holiday for the weekend! :) So as I type this I'm down in Vancouver restraining myself from buying too many books at Chapters and breathing in the sweet sweet smell of coffee, although for now I think I'll go with a nice glass of water! Enjoy the weekend! I'm going to try to get my Guest Wednesday post posted today! We shall see if that's possible!  I'm in the process of uploading the pictures for that post, and let me warn ya! There's a lot of pictures coming up! 

Here's a link to a great online blog that discusses this "experiment" in more detail:

and if you're still itching for more information about our swirling milk experiment, here's another great website: