Blog Archive

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Green Science Demo

Sarah and I went to the Back of the Yards branch library today to see a demonstration of "green science." I was hoping to take more kids, but one Brady family was not at home and the other Brady Mom said her kids couldn't go. It was a pretty hot day, so I could understand not wanting them to go on a long walk.

Sarah and I made the trek, though. As usual, Sarah chased butterflies all the way over there. She caught one and let it go in Cornell Park. When we got to a vacant lot at 50th and Damen, there was a really interesting creature in there. I guess it was a butterfly--it flew like one and when its wings were spread out, it looked like one, but on the ground its wings folded up in a sort of boxy way. You could almost mistake it for a grasshopper or cricket. We were both fascinated with this bug and chased it around the vacant lot for a good while before it flew off toward the alley and we lost it. We'll have to look it up in the bug guide.

When we got to the library we had some water and waited while the day care group lined up and took seats. There were a few other people like us, not organized groups, just adults (moms, presumably) and kids. I believe the presenter was named Mr. Offut--he was the science teacher for the librarian who introduced him.

The demo was pretty fun, although I'm not too super-sure how much "green" any of the kids walked away with. We got to see some cool tricks involving air pressure. My favorite was getting a hard-boiled egg (peeled) into and out of a milk bottle by changing the air pressure around it. To get it into the bottle, he threw a lit piece of paper inside and put the egg over the opening, which created a vacuum and sucked the egg in. To get it back out, he blew into the bottle to put more air behind the egg and force it back out. (He held it upside down, getting gravity in on the action.) This time, the egg came out really slowly, but it did come. You could see this egg's exit was unusual to him, too.

Sarah said her favorite trick was when he showed how magicians can pierce a balloon without making it pop. If you slide a long, sharp object into and out of the balloon through the two ends (the knot and the dark spot where the rubber isn't stretched as tightly by the air pressure), it won't pop.

Afterwards, we hung out in the library for a little while and found some books to check out. Sarah got a comic book (Robot Dreams) and a book about how to draw funny cartoon figures. She read a good bit of that one while I looked for a couple of books for me (a medieval murder mystery and a coming of age novel that looked interesting).

No comments:

Windy Citizen Share