River Glen Middle School
Sept 2019 - May 2020
Opportunity X representatives: Alice Feng, Ashley Ruan, Michelle Jin
Sponsoring Teacher: Ms. Kendall Bell
We are very excited to continue our second year at River Glen School!
First week of 2019-2020 Opportunity X at River Glen. We had 20+ attendance. Students are all looking forward to fun experiments and their own science projects.
9/11/2019 DIY ice cream
DIY ice cream is our all time favorite. We learned the basics of melting point and how salt affects melting point of ice. It took quite some shaking to make the ice cream. The DIY ice cream isn’t tasting as sweet as the ones we bought from stores and students realize how much sugar we need to achieve that sweetness.
9/18/2019 Strawberry DNA
Today we made our own DNA extraction kit from household chemicals and use it to separate DNA from strawberries. Detergent helps the cell to pop open, or lyse, so that the DNA is released into solution. Salt helps the different DNA strands to gather and clump, making it easier for you to see them. Alcohol added to the solution helps DNA precipitate out of the liquid. Everyone brought home a tiny tube of strawberry DNA.
9/25/2019 Blood type
Today we learned blood types, why there are different blood types and how to test blood type: (1) Blood is mixed with antibodies (2) See if agglutination happens, agglutination is the clumping of blood cells that occurs when blood is mixed with the matching antibody (example: Type A blood is mixed with antibody A); (3) Determine the blood type based on results. We used household materials to simulate blood type testing.
10/9/2019 Lava lamp and skittles
We learned that density is how compact or concentrated an object is, and we used Alka-seltzer tablet to achieve the lava lamp effect. We also used warm water to melt skittles and found that due to water stratification, the colors do not mix.
10/16/2019 Paper roller coaster
We used pre-printed templates to make paper roller coasters! The goal is to have a marble roll down the track and make a full turn. A successful full turn depends on the height and length of the track before the turn, the size of the turn. The track cannot be too steep as it needs forward speed to make the turn. Students had lots of fun making the paper roller coaster, even though none of them has successfully made the full turn. They were given extra templates to take home and play with their family.
10/23/2019 Geodesic domes
We challenged the students to make the strongest geodesic domes out of toothpicks and fruit gummies. Geodesic domes is the strongest dome in the world. It is built of triangles, giving it its stability and allowing it to support very heavy loads for its size. Then students moved on to building geodesic domes from bamboo straws and masking tapes.
Bubbles are air wrapped in soap film. There are two layers of soap molecules with a thin layer of water molecules sandwiched inside that works together to hold the air inside the bubble. We used dishwashing liquid and glycerin to make bubbles.
11/6/2019 Bath Bombs
Bath bombs bubbling in water is actually an acid-base chemical reaction. We used citric acid (C6H8O7) and baking soda (NaHCO3) to make the bath bombs, which produced carbon dioxide (CO2) which is what makes the fizzy bubbles. The chemical reaction is: NaHCO3 + C6H8O7 → CO2 + H2O + Na3C6H5O7
11/13/19 Invisible Ink
The students learned the theory behind four different types of invisible inks: chemical reaction, heat activated, UV light, and pressure. Each group rotated among the four stations and tested their own invisible inks.
Do you know slime is a non-Newtonian fluid? Which means it’s neither a liquid or a solid. It can be picked up like a solid, but it also oozes like a liquid. We studied the chemical reaction during slime making and use contact lenses solution and glue to make slime.
This is our last club meeting in 2019. 27 students attended the meeting, that’s 15% of the student body of River Glen. We learned acid-base reaction (again) and made erupting volcanoes using vinegar and baking soda.