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System 2 - Sensational Science

What makes your hair stand up? Is it  a magnet or magic? And just what are carbs, anyway? Students explore a variety of introductory topics about the wonders of both life and physical sciences in Sensational Science!

LIGHT COLOR ACTION: Enter the world of light and color! Students perform exciting experiments on white light, including color-wheel blending and prism-splitting spectrums, that introduce Newton’s color theory concepts. Children learn the differences between mixing colored light and mixing colored paint. Activities involving spectroscopes, ultraviolet light, and chromatography provide lessons on scientific techniques used to study the physics of light. Children build Technicolor Blenders to demonstrate Newton’s color wheel invention.
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HARNESSING HEAT: This class introduces children to the physical facts about heat. Children learn how molecules move at different temperatures and how thermometers work. The instructor uses various tools like a heat gun and thawing blocks to demonstrate how we use temperature- sensitive equipment in our everyday lives. A series of interactive heat-induced experiments show how the hot and cold we feel is relative. Shaking up a bottle of sand shows how friction increases temperature. Children explore materials that transfer heat at different rates.
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MAGNETIC MAGIC: The basic physical principles governing magnetism allow children to learn how and why magnets behave in such ways. They learn how to create magnets and how magnetism is lost. Children use compasses to gain a better understanding of how humans benefit from the Earth’s magnetic force. Hands-on experimenting—from swinging compasses to motorized devices— allows children to explore the role of magnetism in our everyday lives.
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MISSION NUTRITION: Children are introduced to the basics of nutrition including the role of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They will gain an understanding of how food provides energy for the body and how exercise plays an important role in energy levels. The program increases the knowledge of children, stimulates enthusiasm for personal health, and encourages participants to have a healthy attitude toward nutrition and fitness.
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OPTICAL ILLUSIONS: Children are introduced to the concepts of refraction, science of optics, and biology associated with sight. The instructor uses a wide variety of optical illusions like the mirror mirage, twisting copper coils, and convex and concave mirrors to demonstrate how physics can trick our eyes. Children use erasable crayons to create a series of laminated paper illusions and explore the reflections of various mirror forms.
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SONIC SOUNDS: Volunteers capture the characteristics of sound concepts and sound waves by role-playing molecules to demonstrate sound wave motion. Children participate in producing and identifying acoustic sounds from a variety of materials. Electronic distortions link shifting frequencies to voice alterations. Children bring home the Sonic Horn resonance chamber.
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TANTALIZING TASTE: This workshop is an excellent introduction to the taste and smell senses. Children count the taste buds on their tongues to learn about taste sensitivity. The instructor leads a discussion about how taste changes as we age. A flavorful experiment teaches children how to examine scented test tube samples. Children observe carbonation and taste test-cola creations.
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WATTS UP: Children have a solid introduction to the properties of electricity and electric charges. Children discover an electric charge’s basic properties, learn to distinguish between static electricity and electrical current, and explore the science behind these phenomena. Handson activities provide a tactile lesson in charging and discharging objects with static electricity. Children will be able to relate a newfound understanding of lightning and static-electric shocks—that may have previouslybeen confusing or even frightening—to theirdaily lives. They will learn how to protect themselves from electric shocks and lightning.
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