Pink Fire Pointer Guest Wednesday! - Dr. Allyson Perrott of Selkirk College

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!