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.
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Do you know the difference between climate and weather? Analyze the atmosphere to gain insight into how different gasses interact globally. Postulate the potential consequences of global warming. Why does the Earth’s atmosphere act like a greenhouse?
THE SW GENOME PROJECT
Did you know that each cell in our body contains DNA? Create a separate organism that has identical DNA. What are the mysteries behind inheritance and genetics? Study how the information of life is passed onto future generations. What is gene cloning and mutations?
NATURE’S TUG OF WAR
Physics and Technology
Did you know that humans can only observe two of the four fundamental forces of nature – gravity and electromagnetism? Learn how to calibrate a current balance and destroy a magnet. How does a railroad signal work with electromagnets? The best is for last when we build a bullet train to find out why it goes so fast!
LOOKING FOR LIFE ON MARS
Life Science, Physics and Space Science
Have Martians already landed on earth? Discover features on Mars that may be clues for the existence of life. Our challenge is to use balloons, parachutes and retro rockets to land our mission! Study about meteors on Earth that we think have life. Is it living or not?