Archive for April, 2009

Balloon spring gardens

April 24, 2009

Yesterday we made some balloon spring gardens, which is one of the experiments in our Just for Kids pages on the Saskatchewan Science Centre website.

It was fun! And messy!

We learned that it’s very hard to get 1/2 cup of dirt plus 1/4 cup of water into a balloon. It required a lot of teamwork!

Teamwork

We had quite a bit of fun trying to figure out the best way to get the dirt in the balloon. The directions required a funnel, but the only one we had didn’t work with the sticky dirt that we had. So, we made our own funnel out of an old film canister that we found:

Home made funnel

After you add dirt, water, and seeds you have to blow up the balloon. This was really scary! We didn’t want to get too dirty. But, some did anyway:

Messy!

There was a lot of debate on whether there was going to be the right mix of air inside of the balloons, and the right mix of dirt and water. Will our gardens grow? We also tried two different kinds of seeds: radish seeds and some mixed wild flower seeds. I’m curious to know if both will sprout. Some also wondered if the colour of balloon was going to matter. As you can see, we tried out a bunch of different colours:

Our gardens

Here is a photo of some of us making our balloons. This is Lori, Keir, Clinton, Jennifer, and Julie in the background making balloons. I’m in front!

Making balloon gardens

I’m going to keep watch over our gardens and let you know if they work. You can look at some more photos of us making our gardens over on our Flickr page, and that’s where I’ll put updated photos as well. I’ll post here too, so check back.

If you want to make your own balloon spring garden, take a look at the directions, and let me know how it goes.

Stay curious,
Collette

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Happy Earth Day!

April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day everyone!

All month at the Saskatchewan Science Centre we’ve been enjoying some earth-friendly activities with our visitors. We’ve been doing things like making grassy heads and bird feeders, creating ecosystems in bottles, and this weekend we will be making rock collection boxes and learning about geology.

We’ve also enjoyed watching kids colour on our Earth Month Wall:

Earth Month colouring wall

And I like this way of getting people to think about how they can reduce their ecological footprint – a giant chalkboard foot:

Reducing your footprint

In about an hour I’ll be heading to our Space Stadium Stage to watch our Go! Science team put on a little show they’re calling ESI Wascana: Eco-System Investigation. Go! Science is our “outreach” piece of the Science Centre. Teachers and community members can ask us to come right to your school or town and conduct workshops. Today, those of us based right in the Science Centre will get a rare glimpse of what our outreach team does, because normally they’re out on the road. And yes, I’ll take some pictures!

I took a few more photos today of our Earth Month activities. As always, they’re on our Flickr page.

Stay curious,
Collette

Learning with LEGO

April 20, 2009

I just got off the phone with LEGO. Yes, LEGO! Beginning in mid-May and continuing until September long weekend, the Saskatchewan Science Centre will be hosting an exhibit from LEGO called Wheels, Wings & Waves.

I can’t tell you much just yet, but I can tell you that it sounds absolutely incredible. LEGO replicas are so amazing, and some of the stuff we have planned is kind of out of this world!

So far what I’m most excited about is meeting the Master Model Builder and watching him work. Can you believe people actually get paid to build with LEGO all day? Pretty cool job. Maybe I can help?

Stay curious,
Collette