Active Learning in Science
NEWTON’S TOY BOX
Why is the acceleration of an object inversely proportional to its mass? Investigate state of rest, uniform velocity and external forces. Delve into the effects of gravity, friction and momentum on objects. Do forces really occur in pairs?
SPILLS AND RIPPLES
What do water spill, river water running into the ocean, salad dressing and underwater volcano have in common? Delve into the innovative elegance of fluid instability. Investigate the effects of surface tension on water/air interfaces. Find out what a vortex ring really is. We’re going to pick your brain about rain!
Did you know that there are a handful of chemical reactions that are reversible? Delve into thermal decomposition and polymerization. Who’s getting displaced in metallic reactions? Create your favorite perfume and nylon fabric. Can you form a new substance?
OSMOSIS, TROPISM AND PHOTOSYNTHESIS
Did you know that the process of osmosis helped build the Egyptian pyramids? Exert pressure on cells to cause tension and rigidity. Experiment with one-sided lighting and gravity on “decapitated” cress seedlings. The power of plants!
ROLLER COASTERS AND CATAPULTS
Physics and Technology
What are balanced, unbalanced and counterbalanced forces? Construct a catapult and run controlled tests of variables, which influence the flight of an object. Design a death-defying roller coaster that twirls and hurls. Test kinetic straws and play war games. Delicate or destructive, it’s nature’s forces at work!
Construct machines that changed the World! Examine different blade designs of wind generators. Build a machine that mimics the principles of human speech. Can you harness the explosive power of alcohol for a launch?
Why is the base of a structure so important? Test structures for strength and stability and identify the strongest and most stable joint. Can you construct a structure that is wider at its top but can withstand the impact force from a free-wheeling vehicle? It’s not the Iliad, it’s the real science!
Did you know that electricity is not just something you buy in a battery but is one of the basic ingredients of the universe? Probe into dry batteries, liquid batteries, and plasma globes. Explore the world of chemical and electrical energy. It’s only in the flow of electrons.
Did you know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be changed from one form to another? Explore mechanical advantages and the most valuable place. Fiddle with fulcrums to make lifting weight effort-less. Stop “meshing” around with the gear trains!
MOTIONS OF THE OCEAN
Did you know that half the oxygen we breathe comes from plantlike organisms in the ocean? Learn about tides and the effects of the Moon’s gravitational pull on Earth and its oceans. Can you calculate the complexity of currents?
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Space Science and Physics
Have Martians already landed on earth? Become an astronomer to investigate the Earth’s orientation in space. Turn into a Gnomon to construct a sundial. Investigate moon phases, exquisite eclipses and tidal motions. Join us at the astronomer’s laboratory. Don’t let too many people know this – it’s really the sky!
Life Science and Human Biology
Did you know that snot and vomit help to protect the body from infection? Learn how infectious diseases can spread and cause an epidemic. Investigate how temperature affects the growth of microbes. Virus versus bacteria, what’s the difference?