Thursday, January 31, 2008

Science Fair

Because of the frigid temperatures, we ended up having to move the science fair to a smaller was a bit tight, but excitement filled the air and the kids had a WONDERFUL time!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cade's project: Marble Mania

The purpose of Cade's experiment was to show that it is necessary to run numerous trials in order for the results to truly reflect probability statistics. He used 3 marbles and ran 4 sets of trials, one pulling one marble for 10 trials, one for 50 trials, 0ne for 100 trials and one for 500 trials. The initial trial ran 10 times was the furthest from what you would expect statistically (one marble came up 5 times, one 3 times and one 2 times) and the final trial ran 500 times came out about as close statistically as it possibly could....34%, 34%, and 32%.

Here is a website that we found that has a great lesson plan for this project:
Jacob's Human Behavioral Science Project - Does Smell Affect Taste?

This smell versus taste behavioral science project determines if your sense of smell affects your taste sense.

I do not think that the smell of an object will make my family members think that the sucker tastes different.

Item for smelling.: an orange
Dum-Dum candy suckers.
A number of human participants, better known as my family members

1. Gather materials needed for your smell versus taste behavioral science project experiment. Make sure you try your experiment on one person at a time and that none of the other participants know what is going to happen.

2. Choose an item for smelling and a flavor of sucker for tasting. Record the items you have chosen. If making your own suckers, follow the instructions carefully in your kit. Be sure to record all of the items you used. Adult supervision of kids is strongly recommended.

3. Ask your participant to close his or her eyes. Cover your participant's eyes with a blindfold. Remind your participant - no peeking!

4. Place the item you chose for smelling under the subject's nose and ask him or her to inhale the fragrance. Do not reveal what item is being used for smelling. Do not allow the participant to touch the item.

5. Now ask your participant to stick out his or her tongue.

6. Place the previously specified flavor of sucker (apple, grape, cherry etc.) on the participant's tongue long enough for them to taste it.

7. Ask your participant to identify the flavor of sucker.

8. Record the participant's answer.

. Follow the same process with the other participants. Be sure you have enough suckers to use a fresh one for each participant.

Emily thought her sucker was grape when it was cherry
Will thought his sucker was orange when it was blueberry
Sophia thought her sucker was grape when it was cherry
Cade thought his sucker was watermelon when it was green apple
Grant thought his sucker was rootbeer and it was (he was the only one who was right!)
Hannah thought her sucker was rootbeer when it was chocolate
Brett thought his sucker was popcorn when it was cotton candy
Mom thought her sucker was cherry when it was green apple
Luke just liked his sucker. I don't know what flavor he thought it was, he just screamed when I tried to take it from him.

Conclusion:From my experiment I determined that in my family smell influences taste. Everyone but Grant thought that their sucker was another flavor than it really was.
William and Sophia's Science Project: The Effect of Temperature on Popcorn

Find out how popcorn changes when it's popped from frozen, cooled, or room temperature kernels. You'll need a day to let the seeds get to their respective temperatures before popping.

Materials needed:
3 bags Microwave Popcorn
microwave oven
2 quart measuring cup

Prepare the popcorn. Place 1 bag of popcorn in the freezer, 1 in the refrigerator, and 1 on a counter top (this is the control bag).

Leave the bags in the freezer and refrigerator and at room temperature for 24 hours. This ensures that the popcorn reaches the correct temperature for each test group of bags.

Pre-heat the microwave oven by placing a cup of water inside the oven and heating it for one minute. Remove the cup carefully.

Put the control bag of popcorn in the microwave and set it to high (Full Power) for five minutes. When you hear the popping rate slow to 2-3 seconds between pops, stop the microwave and remove the bag. Record the time it took to cook the popcorn, and use that time for the rest of the bags. Our time was 3 minutes.

Empty the popcorn contents into the two quart measuring cup. Measure the amount and record the number. Our bag yeilded 8 1/2 cups.

Pour the same contents onto the cookie sheet. Separate the unpopped kernels from popped kernels. Our bag had 36 unpopped kernels.

Pop the bag of refrigerator popcorn setting the time according to your test bag. Remove the bag carefully, and wait until popping stops.

Empty the popcorn contents into the two quart measuring cup. Measure the amount and record the number. Our bag yeilded 8 cups.

Pour the same contents onto the cookie sheet. Separate the unpopped kernels from popped kernels. Our bag had 60 unpopped kernels.

Pop the bag of freezer popcorn setting the time according to your test bag. Remove the bag carefully, and wait until popping stops.

Empty the popcorn contents into the two quart measuring cup. Measure the amount and record the number. Our bag yeilded 7 1/2 cups.

Pour the same contents onto the cookie sheet. Separate the unpopped kernels from popped kernels. Our bag had 107 unpopped kernels.

Questions for discussion:
Which resulted in fewer unpopped kernels: frozen, refrigerated or room temperature kernels? The popcorn at room temperature. This popcorn also tasted better. Both the refrigerated and frozen popcorn had an odd taste to it.

Which group resulted in higher volume of popped corn? The popcorn at room temperature

At what temperature should popcorn be stored for maximum yield? The popcorn should be stored at room temperature

Monday, January 28, 2008

Park Program: Animal Tracks
When: Monday,January 28, 2008 11 AM
Where: Pattison Park Owensville
RSVP: Laura Riesenberg

Beat that cabin fever and come and learn about animal tracks! According to the latest forecast, it is supposed to be in the mid 40's on Monday! The majority of the program will be held inside the lodge (located on the left hand side of the road) and we will also go for a short hike to see what animal tracks we can find in the park. Dress for the weather. We can use the lodge for lunch following the program if any families want to hang out afterwards. Pack a picnic lunch if you plan to stay.

Take 275 to the Rt. 50 exit (Owensville), follow Rt. 50 out towards Owensville (you may see signs for the Clermont County Fairgrounds, the park is before the fairgrounds), Pattison Lodge is on the left hand side, with Pattison Park on the right. If you get to the Owensville IGA you have gone too far!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Unschoolers Winter Waterpark Gathering (UWWG):

I am so far behind posting.....but the kids and I were out of town last Tues-Thurs (Jan 22-24) at Kalahari Resorts, about 4 hours from here, for an unschooling winter waterpark was a blast, but as always, I dreaded the drive and managing 9 kiddos alone! The place just opened an expansion to their waterpark and is now America's largest indoor waterpark (173,000 sq ft), the place is AWESOME we stayed in a village suite

There were lots of great families at the gathering, but the setup really didn't lend well to socializing! I wish I had had more time to socialize and hang out with the other great families that attended the event. I hosted an Artist Trading Card funshop which was very well attended, but there weren't many adults in attendance. The kids that came were wonderful creative and had a great time, but I had really hoped to hook up with some other moms who had a flair for art.

The dance Wednesday night was AWESOME and the DJ really rocked! It was great to see whole families dancing and enjoying music together.

The waterpark was something to behold....I have never seen such a large indoor waterpark (hmmm...maybe because this is the largest one in the US), Sophia and Will loved the kid area with the blue and orange slides and the boys loved the surfing. Cade was really overwhelmed the first day, to the point that he looked miserable, I really wish I could help him cope better in new or uncertain situations. He was fine the next day and joined Chris, Grant and Jacob in the surfing. I was kind of in a funk and didn't really even get in the water, of course now I wish I had.

Hannah and Emily were both disappointed in the teen room, although they did meet some new teens and hooked up with a friend from Live and Learn. Apparently there was this obnoxious preteen who kept drawing vulgar images on the bulliten boards. A few of the older teens tried to point out the error of his ways, but he was unfazed. I suppose there is one in every bunch!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Greenacres Programs
The programs are free and designed for grades 2-8. The first half hour 11:30-12:00 is for lunch, so bring a packed lunch. The class begins at 12:00. Be sure to dress for the weather. We meet at the "old church" building at the corner of Spooky Hollow and Loveland Madeira Roads. The address is 8255 Spooky Hollow Rd., Cincinnati OH 45242

Winter and Spring Programs
- Thursday, January 17th 11:30-1:30 Animal Architecture
- Thursday, February 7th 11:30-1:30 Birds/Owls
- Friday, March 7th 11:30-1:30 Creepy Crawlers
- Thursday, April 24th 11:30-1:30 Water Quality
- Wednesday, May 21, 2:30-4:00 Honey Bees

The Animal Architecture program was awesome. Although it was slightly cold out we started the program with a hike and looked at some different animal homes. We then retreated into the old church and got a close up look at different nests (birds, wasps). The program ended with another hike on a different part of the property. We were thrilled that Donna led our group, she is absolutely wonderful with the kids (not that we have ever met a Greenacres staffer that we haven't loved!). A great and highly informative program!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Make Your Own Board Game Day
Submitted by Melodie
Friday, January 11, 2008
Time: 11am-1pm
Place: Jr OUAM Hall, St. Bernard (Directions upon RSVP)

From Melodie: Please join us for a day of fun and games. Bring blank boards, play money, pegs, and plenty of ideas. Anything you need to make your game a success. Work as a group or make your own game. Bring a peanut-free and popcorn-free snack to share while you work.

What great fun! Emily created an awesome game, reminiscient of one of our all time favorites SNAILS PACE RACE and the boys had fun goofing around and trying to create games. Grant came up with an idea for a game that had to do with the primaries and a person getting their party's nomination, but he is still trying to figure out the details.

The biggest hit of the day? The new air hockey table! I think my crew would have stayed and played air hockey all day.