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River Glen Middle School

Oct 2020 - May 2021

Opportunity X representatives: Alice Feng, Ashley Ruan, Michelle Jin, Olivia Xu, Claire Luo

Sponsoring Principal: Ms. Equivel Moreno

Our third year at River Glen School has started as a Virtual Club. 

Over the summer, Opportunity X hosted an exciting Virtual Summer Camp. The Virtual School Program is similar to the Virtual Summer Camp. We prepared a large kit for each student, covering eight experiments for the first semester. 

10/5/2020 Kit pick up day

The River Glen Opportunity X team prepared 20 kits for River Glen students. Ashley and Alice dropped of the kits today for students to pick up.

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10/7/2020 First session - Non-Newtonian Fluid

We want to thank everyone who come to our first club meeting today. We encouraged all students to turn on their camera for a better interactive experience; some students don't have camera connected to their computer, but they still had a lot fun at the club meeting.

Today we studied basic principles behind non-Newtonian fluid. We learned viscosity, shear stress, shear rate, Newton's Law of Viscosity. Then we did an experiment to feel one type of the mysterious non-Newtonian fluid. Students were very excited to answer a few questions about what we learned today and earned their points towards an award at the end of the year.

10/14/2020 Second week - Soap powered Boat

This week, we learned surface tension, cohesion, adhesion. We made 'soap powered boat' to demonstrate these scientific principles. Since we used cardboard instead of foam for the boat, most of our boats sank after a few minutes. The students had a great time watching their boats moving forward in the basin. We tried breakout room this week, with 3 students and 1 volunteer in each breakout room, each student got a lot more attention and interaction.

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10/21/2020 Third week - Blind Spot

Today we did an interesting optical experiment to create a blind spot. Through this experiment, we learned about neurons, retina, why there is a blind spot, and the benefit of having a blind spot. 

We also gave the students an extra credit experiment to do at home - Two Point Discrimination Test, which continues to let them experiment more on neurons. 

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10/28/2020 Fourth week - Dancing Ghost

Today we made dancing ghosts for Halloween. We first learned about electrons, atoms, static electricity, lightning. Then we used balloon and tissue paper to make dancing ghosts, and we also competed for the worst hair of the day as everyone's hair was standing up!


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11/04/2020 Fifth week - Chicken Sounds From a Cup

This is such a hilarious experiment! Of course, before the students could make any strange noise, they learned about sound, vibrations, amplitude of sound, pitch of sound, SONAR and soundboard. Making chicken sounds from a cup was super fun. By using different thread and cups, the sounds were quite diverse. Some even sounded like dog bark. 

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11/18/2020 Sixth week - 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. 

12/02/2020 Seventh week - Hoop Glider

We built hoop gliders by taping two hoops of paper to a plastic straw. Through our hoop gliders, we learned about the four forces of flight: lift, weight, thrust, and drag. We also changed the placement of the paper hoops on the straw, the length of the straw, and the number of hoops to turn the project into an experiment. 

12/09/2020 Eighth week - Kaleidoscope

We created kaleidoscopes out of paper, cardboard, transparent plastic, and colorful beads. By allowing light to enter and reflect inside the kaliedoscope, we can see the colorful patterns that the beads create. Observing the kaleidoscopes teaches us how reflection works and how light bounces off surfaces.   

Second semester kits

River Glen volunteers prepare for the 2021 Opportunity X Virtual Program. Alice, Ashley, Claire, Michelle, and Olivia packaged kits containing the materials for the experiments. After all the kits were assembled, Ashley delivered them to River Glen the following morning for pick up!



This week, Alice led River Glen students in creating elephant toothpaste in a plastic bottle. Students explored the chemical reactions behind the bubbly mixtures which they observed and learned the safety precautions to take while performing the experiment. All in all, this was a great start to the 2021 Opportunity X program!

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Michelle led River Glen students in exploring acids and bases by building lemon volcanoes. Students observed fizzing from their lemons and learned about chemical reactions behind what they saw.

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Claire demonstrated a clever way to measure the length of microwaves using chocolate chips! By observing the patterns formed by melting chocolate, students calculated properties of microwaves.


Ashley taught River Glen students about DNA and led them in building a model with pony beads and pipe cleaners. Students learned about the chemical properties of DNA and how it stores all the information for the cells in our bodies!

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Olivia led students in a fascinating exploration of the minerals in the food we eat. Using a magnet, students collected iron from a solution of water and crushed breakfast cereal and watched as the metal began to appear!


Alice taught students how to make their own plastic using milk! Students learned about polymers which allow them to make a white solid simply by heating milk.

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Ashley taught students about how our lungs work with a model built from bottles and balloons. Students learned about how changing pressure allows us to breathe and inflated their balloons without blowing air into them.



Olivia led students in exploring the properties of water. Students made colorful flowers with markers, water, and coffee filters using the principles of chromatography.



Continuing the previous exploration of acid base reactions, Ashley led students in the hoverballoon experiment. Using the products of a chemical reaction with vinegar and baking soda, students watched their balloons fill up by themselves.


Michelle led students in exploring the density of different inks using a fun experiment of floating stick men. Using a dry-erase marker, students drew pictures, then watched them come to life when they poured water over their drawings!


Claire led students in a fun project with oil and water to create lovely marbling patterns. Students learned about the principles of polarity which keep different liquids such as oil and water separate.

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