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					Family Science Night

You’ll find here the station write-ups that we used at B2. I
forgot to mention one website that has done a phenomenal
job of creating stations and the printouts for those stations
for you- already done! Please check out:

Also, don’t forget to look into the resources posted in the
Keynote from our session.

I wish you a successful Family Science Night and please
don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Jenn Smith
                              Bubble Play
Bend pipe cleaners into several different shapes. Make as many different shapes as
you can. You might want to make some square, some circles, some squares, some
triangles, some heart-shaped or some even the shapes of letters you know. Make
sure each one has a handle. Here are a few ideas...

Carefully pour the bubble solution in a pie pan. Take each shaped pipe cleaner and
dip it into the solution. Now start your bubble blowing! What do you notice about
the shapes of your bubbles and the shapes you made from the pipe cleaners?
Next, try using the yarn, funnels and measuring tapes. What did you discover?

 *Use a bubble solution created with Dawn and glycerin.


            Empty some bubble mixture in a baby food jar.

                            Wet the desk surface.

          Using a straw, blow bubbles on the desk’s surface.

  Blowing bubbles, can you make a bubble group look like a box?

                    What other shapes can you make?

                 Can you blow a bubble inside a bubble?

                            Blow a table bubble.
When it pops, it will leave a circle on the table- a bubble print.

                    Measure the diameter.

                Can you blow a bigger bubble?

                  Blow just one table bubble.

  Watch the colors and patterns on the bubble until it pops.

             What colors and patterns do you see?

            What does the color of the bubble tell?
Popping Bubbles Cycles Center Materials:
-Bubble Mix                  -Paper towels
-Trays                       -Pie pans
-Straws                      -Pencils
-Magnifying lenses           -Rulers
-Recording sheets            -Plastic bowls

 Use the color patterns of bubbles to predict when the bubble
is ready to pop. Volunteers: Set up pie pans with bubble and
water solution, at least 4 stations so that students can
complete the investigation.

1.   Select a clean straw.
2.       Lower the straw into one of the puddles of soap solution
        in the pie pan. Blow GENTLY through the straw to form a
        large bubble dome (convex).

3.       Observe the swirling of the soap film and the changing
        colors in the bubble until the bubble pops.

4.      Repeat steps 2 and 3 several more times.

5.      Record your observations on the recording sheet.

     Example: (Observation table)

Colors observed (order if possible)       Color immediately before popping

Life Cycles Center Materials:
Activity #1: Butterfly Life cycle (paper plate) materials:
-Paper plates                         -Uncooked rice
-Markers                 -Uncooked bowtie pasta
-Crayons                 -Uncooked spiral pasta
-Green leaves (paper)    -Uncooked shell pasta
-Glue sticks/glue bottles -Stage labels
-Scissors                -Life cycle model

1. First make a t shape on the paper plate with a marker,
so that the plate is divided into 4 fairly even sections.

2. Next, begin with the egg stage. Glue a leaf in one of the
four wedges marked on the plate. Then glue on some
“eggs” by putting a spot of glue on your leaf, then
sprinkling rice on top.

3. Thirdly, glue on another leaf in the next wedge of the
paper plate. Now glue a spiral shaped pasta on the leaf.
This is the caterpillar or larvae.
4. Then, glue on another leaf in the next wedge of the
paper plate. Glue a shell shaped pasta on the leaf. This is
the chrysalis stage.

5. Next, glue a leaf in the last wedge of the paper plate.
Glue bowtie pasta on the leaf. This is the butterfly.

6. Use a marker to carefully write the names of the each
of the parts of the life cycle on the yellow circle above the
wedge for that step:
           Step #1: (rice) egg
           Step #2: (spiral) larva
           Step #3: (shell) chrysalis
           Step #4: (bowtie) butterfly

Activity #2: Butterfly bookmarks
-Bookmark cardstock        -Markers
-Crayons                   -Scissors
-Bookmark model
-Cut out bookmark pattern and color.

Activity #3: Butterfly coloring pages
-Coloring pages

-Color pages.

Additional items:
-Life Cycle models (2 sets)
-Life cycle washing line (1 set)
-Construction paper (green)
-drawing stencils
- Use additional materials to teach the life cycle of the
butterfly. Posters and diagrams provided to help illustrate.

Additional information:
-As advanced insects, butterflies and moths have a
"complete" life cycle. This means that there are four
separate stages, each of which looks completely different
and serves a different purpose in the life of the insect.
-The egg is a tiny, round, oval, or cylindrical object, usually
with fine ribs and other microscopic structures. The female
attaches the egg to leaves, stems, or other objects, usually
on or near the intended caterpillar food.
-The caterpillar (or larva) is the long, worm-like stage of
the butterfly or moth. It often has an interesting pattern of
stripes or patches, and it may have spine-like hairs. It is the
feeding and growth stage. As it grows, it sheds its skin four
or more times so as to enclose its rapidly growing body.
-The chrysalis (or pupa) is the transformation stage within
which the caterpillar tissues are broken down and the
adult insect's structures are formed. The chrysalis of most
species is brown or green and blends into the background.
Many species overwinter in this stage.
-The adult (or imago) is colorful butterfly or moth usually
seen. It is the reproductive and mobile stage for the
species. The adults undergo courtship, mating, and egg-
laying. The adult butterfly or moth is also the stage that
migrates or colonizes new habitats.
-The adult (or imago) is colorful butterfly or moth usually
seen. It is the reproductive and mobile stage for the
species. The adults undergo courtship, mating, and egg-
laying. The adult butterfly or moth is also the stage that
migrates or colonizes new habitats.
You can use any of these pictures, blow them up and use them as examples at your life cycle
station and/or make your own.
Colorblind Station:

Resources we used at Biosphere 2 can be found at:

Toothpick Puzzles:

Resources we used at Biosphere 2 can be found at:

Fingerprinting Station:

Resources we used at Biosphere 2 can be found at:

Harry Potter and the Dichotomous Key activity:
Google the phrase above and you will get to the link… it’s a PDF and I can’t seem to post it here.

Roto Copter or Cool ‘Copter Station:

I wasn’t able to scan in the Cool ‘Copters from Science Night Family Fun from A to Z so here is
a substitute from online. You can Google many more as well if you’d like.


1.       The patterns of ridges on our finger pads are unique: no two individuals—
         even identical twins—have fingerprints that are exactly alike.

2.       We leave impressions—or prints—of these patterns on everything we touch
         with any pressure.
3.    The prints can be visible, as when our fingers are dirty or oily, or they can be
      latent, as when they are made only by the sweat that is always present on
      our finger ridges.

4.    Injuries such as burns or scrapes will not change the ridge structure: when
      new skin grows in, the same pattern will come back.

5.    Dactyloscopy is the practice of using fingerprints to identify someone.

Fingerprinting Station Materials:

1.    Directions

2.    5 Fingerprint Pattern Identification Sheets

3.    Fingerprint Record Chart- one for each participant

4.    3x5-inch index cards, at least 2 per participant

5.    Pencils

6.    Transparent tape, ¾ -inch is better than ½-inch

7.    Good lighting

8.    Hand magnifiers


1.    Rub pencil all over a small area of index card to make an “ink” pad.

2.    Press and roll your finger on the penciled area, the stick a short piece of tape
      to the finger pad area. Pressing down thoroughly, remove the tape and place
      it in the corresponding area on your Fingerprint Record Chart.

3.    Repeat procedure for each finger on same hand.

4.    After all prints are made and taped down, have kids compare their prints for
      similarities and differences.

5.    Next, have them look at the Fingerprint Identification Sheet and label the
      pattern they see on each finger in the space below where each print was
6.   Ask questions like: which pattern is most common, how do police use
     fingerprints to help catch criminals, etc.
Prediction (Drops on a Penny) Center Materials:
-Pennies (a few hundred)      -Flat surface
-Pipettes/droppers       -Pencils
-Water                        -plastic cups
-Paper towels                 -Recording sheet handout
(drops on a penny)

Directions found on student handout ( teacher/volunteer
directions in red parenthesis):
How many drops of water can you put on a penny before
the water flows off? Make and test predictions to study
the surprisingly strong surface tension of water.

To Do and Notice (Activity works well in pairs or small
 (please have cups with water, pipettes, pennies, towel,
recording sheet and pencils set up prior to students
    1. Predict how many drops will go on the penny before it
       overflows. Write down the prediction number, leaving
       room to write the actual number below.

    2. Place the penny on a tray with a small piece of paper
       towel under the penny to facilitate observation of when
       the water overflows the penny.

    3. Use a dropper to carefully place water drops, one at a
       time, on a penny.

    4. Observe the number of drops that can be added before
       the water flows off.

    5. Repeat 3 to 4 times to collect data and calculate an
       average. Dry the penny after each attempt. Write the
       observed number below the predicted number.

Number of   Trial 1   Trial 2   Trial 3   Trial 4    Trial 5    Average
Predicted    20

 Actual      67

     Think about: Water molecules are attracted to other water
     molecules; this attraction is called cohesive force and is
     responsible for the phenomenon known as surface
     tension. This forms a “skin” or “film” at the surface.
Sink or Float Activity


To make and test predictions about sinking and floating. To classify objects according to
whether they sink or float.


1.      Sink or Float Activity Sheet
2.      A bucket, or bowl of water about 1/2 full for each student or pair of students
3.      At least 6 different items for each group that are made of a variety of different
        materials, such as: tennis balls, ping pong balls, shower rings, wooden blocks, clothes
        pins, sponges, corks, pipe cleaners, paper clips, buttons, nuts/bolts, rubber bands,
        clear lids, plastic spoons


Brainstorm what it means to sink or float. Ask students to describe things that they have
seen sink or float. Elicit student ideas on what kinds of things they think will sink or float,
for example: Can people float?


For each student:

1.      Write or draw the item in column 1. (You may want to do this for younger students
        before you duplicate the test sheet.)
2.      Predict whether it will sink or float and record their prediction in column 2.
3.      Place the item in the water and observe what happens.
4.      Record their results in column 3.
5.      Repeat the procedure and record the results in column 4.
6.      Place the items that sank in one pile and the items that floated in another pile.

After each group has finished testing their objects discuss the results using the following

1.      How many of your predictions were correct?
2.     Did your predictions get better, worse, or stay the same?
3.     Look at the pile of objects that sank. Describe them. Do they have anything in
       common with one another?
4.     Look at the pile of objects that floated. Describe them. Do they have anything in
       common with one another?
5.     Compare the results for each group. Did everybody get the same results? If any of the
       results were different, ask students to replicate their trial.


For more advanced students, you can extend the ideas in this lesson by having students
explore the question, "Can we change something from a sinker to a floater?"

Adapted from:
                Make Your Own Tornado

1.   Two plastic soda bottles (2 liter or 20 oz. — do not use
2.   Water
3.   Food coloring
4.   Tornado Tube bottle connector


1.   Fill one of the soda bottles 2/3 full of water. Screw the
     Tornado Tube on to this bottle. Add a few drops of food
     coloring to the water.
2.   Attach the other empty plastic soda bottle of the same
     size to the other end of the Tornado Tube.
3.   Rotate bottles so that the full bottle is on top. Do not tilt
     it. With your hand firmly on top of the full bottle, shake
     the upper bottle in a circular motion. A mini tornado will

Try these variations to see how it affects the strength of your
1.   use hot and then cold water
2.   increase the pressure in the bottles by squeezing them
3.   change the amount of water

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