Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mad Science

Yesterday we had our first Mad Science class with our home-school group. The boys have been looking forward to this once a month class, and were so excited to finally see what it is all about. Nico has been hoping for chemistry. He's been asking for a real chemistry set, with real chemicals, for over two years. I'm not ready to invest in something like that for him just yet, but someday.

This first class was not a chemistry class, but that didn't stop the boys from enjoying it. They explored magnification in several different ways. First the instructor held up a picture, in which all but a small square was covered and asked the class if they could guess what the bigger picture was. Most thought the tree was a butterfly, the pig was a bunny, and no one guessed correct with the apple.

Then she brought out these awesome hand held microscopes, and let the class view salt and pepper up close. After talking about mirrors, and how they reflect the light, and can be used to make multiple images like in a dressing room, she brought out the tabletop microscopes and several slides of bugs. The boys got to view a beetle, mosquito, various spiders, a scorpion, and a flea.

Also discussed was how bug eyes work, and how they see differently than people do. She brought out these little bug eyes (kaleidoscopes) that each child could use to see how bugs see. They took turns looking at different images, and looking around the room and imagining they were bugs flying about.

The class ended with a quick lesson on the colors of light. She brought out some rainbow glasses, which the kids all got to take home, that showed all the colors of light. She lit a candle, and used some flash paper, to let the kids view the brilliance of the flash, thru their glasses.

All in all, it was a great class, and I look forward to several more Mad Science classes in our future.

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