We worked on the scientist activity pin during 5 days of day camp. Below is the information for day 3.
- Ensure weather station is in place and operating
- Their weather beltloop worksheets (save from previous day, organize by group)
- Water supply
- 2L bottles
- Styrofoam (lightweight) for wings
- Razor blades or scissors
- Time measuring device
- Water rocket launchers
- Optional: Chairs (or picnic table seats), trees without poison ivy
- Optional: A ruler or dowel
- Optional: Clay
Requirements covered and activities for each requirement
Weather Belt Loop requirement 2. Set up a simple weather station to record rainfall, temperature, air pressure, or evaporation for one week
- Have them measure the weather and write it on their worksheet.
- Collect the worksheets for tomorrow.
Science Belt Loop: 1. Explain the scientific method to your adult partner.
Science Belt Loop: 2. Use the scientific method in a simple science project. Explain the results to an adult.
Scientist 8. With adult supervision, build and launch a model rocket. Describe how Newton’s third law of motion explains how the rocket is propelled into the sky.
- Show the scientific method poster (if you have one, this can be a useful tool). If you don’t have a poster, explain the scientific method via discussion with the boys. Explain the water rocket activity. Ask them to relate it to the scientific principles we studied earlier in the week (Pascal, Bernoulli, Newton).
- Build and launch water rockets. Experiment with at least one wing style and one nose cone style. Do this in groups. Explain how this fits the scientific method to the adults present. Record launch time on paper. Figure out which was best. Note, it is ok to get nice and wet doing this 🙂
If there is time after rockets: Scientist 11. Explain how you use your center of gravity to keep your balance. Show three different balancing tricks. (Note, rockets took the whole hour and were a lot of fun! We never got to this activity.)
- Try standing up without leaning forward (in webelos book). Talk about center of gravity. This is hard for the boys to actually do. Most of them will cheat by leaning forward and claiming they did it. Pair them up if necessary and have their partner ensure they don’t lean forward.
- Lean against the doorway exercise from the webelos book. Since we won’t have doorways, use trees. Be careful to watch for poison ivy. Stand with one shoulder, arm, and leg touching but not leaning against the tree. Try to bring the outside foot (the one not leaning against a tree) up to touch the one against the tree. Stop when you feel like you’re going to lose your balance. Discuss center of balance. Some of the boys will find this easy because they are not properly standing. Make sure they are touching the tree but not putting a lot of weight on it.
- Balance a ruler or dowel on your hand. Move a weight around on it and see how easy it is to balance with it in different locations.
- Start: Having some pre-made models to launch before the boys design their own would be useful. Also, it was so much fun just launching that the boys didn’t do much exploration of the scientific method. I’m not actually sure how to enforce that as the adults and staff were having just as much fun getting wet as the kids! Perhaps move the scientific method exploration to a new activity? Or leave it here as a discussion but then actually practice it on another activity (maybe the alka-seltzer rockets). Also, move the balancing activities to another day. Rockets are plenty to do in the hour!
- Stop: Nothing to stop. It was great!
- Continue: The activity worked really well and was perfect for a super hot afternoon. The boys did explore one hypothesis well: more water equals farther flights. They discovered it was wrong but they enjoyed the higher water content as it did mean for wetter launches!