Turtles Teach: Springtime Science!

The weather is warming up, the sun is starting to shine (sometimes) and flowers are starting to bloom! All of this makes a wonderful combination to do some science! In this project we’re going to create rainbow flowers.

White flowers Supplies

What you’ll need:

  • white flowers, like carnations
  • small jars
  • water
  • food coloring
  • paring knife or scissors
  • tape
  • adult assistance or supervision

Step One: Trim the Stems

Trim the stemsCut the stems of the flowers so they are 10-12 inches long. (Have an adult help!) Using a sharp knife carefully cut a 6 inch slit through the bottom of the stem. Remove any large leaves. Be sure to keep the cut edges moist since exposure to oxygen will make the flowers wilt at a faster rate.

Step Two: Add Dye

DyeFill your jars with water and add between 10-20 drops of food color (or more depending on your preference). Place each separate stem end into a cup of colored water. Prop up the flowers so they don’t fall over. We had some fancy mason jar covers, but tape should work as well to help prop the flowers.

Step Three: The Waiting Game

Waiting gamePlace the jars by a window and hopefully you will begin to see the first hints of color after a few hours, but wait 24 hours to see an even more dramatic change.


What’s Happening?

Flowers go through a process called transpiration, where it releases moisture into the atmosphere. As moisture is released, more water is pulled up through tiny tubes in the stem called xylem. Water molecules have the tendency to stick together, so as one water molecules leaves the flower, it brings another one up with it.

 

Did you like this activity? Then you might be interested in our single-day Spring Break Camp!

Turtle Bay will be offering single day camps April 11th – 13th for children 7-10. Campers can register for one, two, or all three days. Each day will be different from the next as we cover matter, energy, and forces. All camps will feature hands-on and self-led activities that encourage collaboration and innovation.

Tuesday, April 11th – Magnificent Matter

With all things hot and cold, campers will discover the states of matter and how they’re important to us. Some activities include changing milk into one of our favorite desserts to stacking liquids on top of each other!

Wednesday, April 12th – Energy in Action

Campers will explore the sights, sounds, and properties of energy in many forms. From discovering the power from the sun to watching the effects of sounds, we will be learning all about the power or power!

Thursday, April 13th – Fantastic Forces

Though our superhero forces may be lacking, there are still many super forces to be explored! Campers will check out the unseen forces of our Sundial Bridge and see if they can explain the mystery behind magnets.

Whether you have enrolled into one of our camp programs before, or if this is your first time hearing about them, we invite you to check us out! For additional information and registration forms, visit www.turtlebay.org/learn/camps. We have a limited space, so hurry!

 

From our science journals to yours,

The Education Team at Turtle Bay

Turtles Teach: What is Dry Ice?

Known for its spooky fog and subzero temperatures, dry ice is a mysterious and fascinating substance… but what is it?

dry ice

Everything is made of matter. Matter can exist in many states: solid, liquid, or gas. For instance, water can be liquid, solid (ice), or a gas (vapor or steam). We can change the state of matter by changing the environment that matter is in. You may know we can change water’s state just by changing the temperature. To make water into ice, we freeze it! To make water into a gas, we boil it! However, temperature is not the only factor that determines a substance’s state. Pressure is just as important. Water can be in all three states in normal pressure (1 atmosphere or 14.7 psi); this is not the case with dry ice.

Dry Ice is not made with water, but carbon dioxide. You may know carbon dioxide as a gas, the gas we exhale when we breathe. It too can freeze and change into a solid, but our freezers at home can’t do the job. Special factories use extremely low temperatures and high pressure just to make it. The extremely cold and pressurized carbon dioxide is brought to normal pressures and will solidify into dry ice. This ice is -109 degrees F. But what makes dry ice so fascinating is its ability to sublimate (Sublimation is when matter changes from a solid to a gas). At normal pressure, dry ice cannot be a liquid. When it “melts” it turn directly into carbon dioxide gas! You may see the fog that comes from its icy surface, but carbon dioxide is a clear and colorless gas that we can’t see… The fog is actually the result of water vapor in the air condensing from the cold gas, similar to your warm breath meeting the icy cold air during the winter. When dry ice is added to water, the carbon dioxide gas bubbles up to the surface quickly making the water look like its boiling.

Matter comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, temperatures, and states! Dry ice is just one of the cooler substances.

Hope you learned something new, from your favorite educators at Turtle Bay!

Things to Do in 2017

In case you are looking for something to do with you little ones while the big kids head back to school, or are wanting to provide fun learning opportunities for your children… Turtle Bay is a good place to start! Turtle Bay is already a place for interactive, exploratory fun, but did you know about some of our regular programming that is available to you? As the New Year starts, we invite you to join us as we experience the following programs this year.

Little Explorers

Little Explorers
These little ones got an up close meet and greet with Virginia, the box turtle.

Every Thursday morning, little ones ranging from 2 to 5 years old come with their families for the Little Explorers Program. This program facilitates a play-based learning environment where young children can investigate, create, and discover. Because Little Explorers is in the Mill Building, you can join in rain or shine. A typical program usually includes a story, an activity, and a take home craft all led by one of our docents. January’s theme is Nighttime Wonders. Join us in February to learn all about what’s On the Farm!

Little Explorers
We aren’t afraid of getting our hands dirty! This explorer is investigating a worm as he learns about what makes soil healthy.

Family Second Saturday

Family Second SaturdayIt’s in the name! Every second Saturday of the month, we invite everyone in the family to join us for an afternoon of interactive and educational fun. Although we offer new and exciting activities each month, we occasionally pull out some of our popular favorites! Keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming Family Second Saturday topics and activities; we hope to see you and the whole family there!

This month’s Family Second Saturday: Dry Ice Investigations

February: Innovations

Science Saturday

Science Saturday
Chemical Reactions come in all colors and sizes! Here we have colored Alka-Seltzer tablets being dissolved in warm and cold water. Do you think they had the same reaction?

Following our family Saturday program, each third Saturday of the month we feature Science Saturday. During this event, guests will have the opportunity to experiment, observe demonstrations, and hopefully will be able to answer the question, “What is going on?” as we explore and investigate.

This month’s Science Saturday: Science of Small

Science Saturday
How many glass beads in each glass do you see? Hint: there’s 3 altogether. Come see us this Science Saturday and find out what is going on!

February: On the Ranch

 

We hope to see you here soon!

Shasta County’s First Mini Maker Faire

Trilogy Challenge
During the faire, Trilogy Architecture hosted the “You Shall Not Pasta!” Bridge Building Challenge. Students from Cypress show off their pasta bridges before they are tested.

November 12th was the first Shasta County Mini Maker Faire. With 100+ vendors, over 2000 attendees and countless opportunities to create, this event met all of our expectations and more! Here are some highlights and pictures from the faire.

Bridges

Loom
Turtle Bay’s very own loom gave many makers the opportunity weave yarn to create a textile.

The Shasta County Mini Maker Faire was an opportunity for makers from all over North State and beyond to come together to not only showcase their passion, but to celebrate and inspire creativity, collaboration and hands-on experiences. This event was geared to be family-friendly and we are excited to share that over half of our attendees were under 18! We hope to continue this celebration as our younger community members are inspired by our local makers, educators, parents, and enthusiasts to build, design, innovate, and create.

Set up
Finalizing all the details before the participants arrive!

Although many of the activities provided by our makers are more difficult to recreate than others, we couldn’t help but to give you some ideas and activities you could do at home! Stay connected with the our maker community by following us on Facebook. Happy making!

Mad Science Lab: Cabbage Chemistry

This experiment may be aimed for children, but if you release your inner mad scientist… we won’t tell!

Red cabbage juice may sound like the newest health fad, but really this liquid has been used in chemistry labs for years… That’s right, chemistry! Chemistry scientists, or chemists, study things that are so incredibly small we can’t see them. They study atoms and molecules. Because these particles are so small, the best way for chemists to study them is testing and observing how they act in certain environments and how they interact with other chemicals, like cabbage juice!

So, why cabbage juice? Red cabbage juice can be used as a pH indicator. When mixed with any liquid, the cabbage juice will change color depending on that liquid’s pH. The pH determines whether a chemical is an acid or a base. Acids have low pH values (1-6) and the molecules donate what we call a hydrogen ion (H+); bases have high pH values (8-14) and the molecules donate a hydroxyl ion (OH-). These ions interact with the cabbage juice and make it change color! When a substance does not have these ions, we call it neutral. For instance, pure water is neutral and has a pH of 7.

Safety First!

Some chemicals are safer than others; we will give you some ideas on safe chemicals to use during this experiment. If you want to explore more we recommend sticking to your kitchen supply; any food grade substance is safe to handle.

Red cabbage stains very easily, make sure you’re wearing clothes that are dark colored or that can be stained.

ALWAYS have an adult present when doing science experiments; not only do adults help you stay safe, they like to learn too!

Materials:

Test Tubestubes

If you don’t have a set of test tubes and a test tube rack like this one, you can use clear glasses to hold your liquids.

Eyedropper – if you don’t have one you can easily use a straw! To use, submerge the straw into the liquid so that the level inside the straw is how much you’d like to transfer (for this experiment you want to measure 1-2 inches from the bottom of the straw). Then place your finger on top of the straw so that it is airtight. Then place you straw over where you would like to transfer it to and move your finger off the straw.

Red Cabbage – you don’t need a whole head, one cup of shredded cabbage will be plenty

Assorted Liquids –We recommend vinegar, baking soda (mixed with a little bit of water), lemon or lime juice, milk, aspirin (dissolved in some water), dish soap, and whatever else you’d like to test (remember our safety guidelines!).

Procedure:

  1. If your cabbage is not already shredded, have an adult chop it up into smaller pieces.
  2. Put cabbage into a non-aluminum saucepan and add just enough water to cover it.
  3. Bring to boil and boil for 10-15 min.
  4. Pour cabbage juice into a container while straining out the cabbage leaves. Place in fridge until you are ready to test!
  5. Collect the liquids and dissolve any solids you’d like to test. You should use enough of each so that the amount of liquid is about ¾ inch from the bottom and you can see it from the side.
  6. Once you have placed each liquid in their glass or tube, add enough cabbage juice until you can see the color.

What’s going on?

As we talked about earlier, cabbage juice uses color to indicate the pH level of liquids. Blue/Green color appears in substances that have a high pH value. Light/Bright Pink appears in substances with a low pH value. Remember which one is which? Arrange your tubes/glasses so that you make a pH rainbow! What liquids turned the juice pink? Which turned the juice blue or green? Did any leave the juice purple?

Remember: you’re a chemist! Record your data, ask questions, make predictions, and do some research if you’d like.

Make sure to take pictures and share with your friends too!

Don’t forget!

We are taking registrations for both of our single day camps. November 22nd is Up, Up, and Away Camp and December 20th is DIY Science Camp. More information and how to sign up can be found here.

Maker Faire is coming to Shasta County!

Shasta County Mini Maker Faire

The very first Shasta County Mini Maker Faire is coming! Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 12th, 2016 from 10am – 4pm and the Redding Civic Auditorium.

The Shasta County Mini Maker Faire, hosted by Turtle Bay, is a chance for our North State California counties to celebrate its local makers. This is a family-friendly event that celebrates the creativity of individuals, students, educators, innovators, and businesses in the community. Mini Maker Faire allows creators to showcase their work to the community, while the public comes to enjoy interactive experiences, connect with like-minded people, and be inspired. Maker Faire supports passionate innovation, collaboration, and hands-on doing as a way of experiencing the world.

This Mini Maker Faire will feature various makers from all over the North State. View art made of masking tape, learn to solder, discover how a 3-D printer can make pancakes, participate in a LEGO robotics workshop, and so much more!

How can you be part of it?

  • Purchase your early bird tickets NOW! Early bird tickets are on sale at makerfaireshasta.com. Early bird adult tickets are only $10 available until November 4. (After November 4, adult ticket prices will increase.) Children 18 and under and college students with a valid ID are free. All attendees (free or not) must have tickets upon entry.
  • Participate in student team and individual challenges. Can your team build a bridge made of pasta? Can you design a helmet to protect an athlete’s head (aka a raw egg)? Can you design a creative sculpture that incorporates artistic skill and engineering? Create a mini race car for the Nerdy Derby Track! These challenges will test engineering and design skills for students of all ages! Visit the website for entry rules and requirements.
  • Volunteer at the event. Many volunteers are needed to help make this a successful event! Click here to sign up or email makervolunteer@gmail.com with any questions.
  • Spread the word! Tell your friends and family and make this a event a family affair!

The fun doesn’t end all in one day! On Sunday, November 13th, John Collins, the Paper Airplane Guy will be presenting at Turtle Bay Exploration Park at 11am in the Take Flight exhibition. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn the science behind paper airplanes and learn to fold the paper airplane that holds the world record for farthest flight. For information about John Collins, visit his website at www.thepaperairplaneguy.com.

We hope to see you at the Faire!

How to Recycle and Reuse School Supplies

supplies

The school days are upon us, yet again! Every morning students are equipped with backpacks and lunches, full of all the tools they will need to learn well and be successful in school. Back to school shopping lists are full of all the necessities a student needs for a class: notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers, binders and more! Open up a backpack and you’ll see that each one of these supplies serves a purpose as students study, take notes, and express themselves.

Now, let’s open up that lunchbox. School lunches either from home or the cafeteria fuel the minds of learning students making food one of the most important school tools. Every school year, each student eats 180 lunches at school; that’s a LOT of food! Ideally each lunch is well balanced and students consume everything that is in front of them… But we know that this is not necessarily the case.

Unfortunately, tons of school supplies end up in landfills each year. Half-used pencils, notebooks, crayons and pens, dried up markers, out-of-style backpacks and paper. Paper alone is responsible for up to 60% of waste produced by schools. After every lunch, wrappers, plastic bags and containers, leftover food and plastic utensils fill up the trash receptacles. Over 78% of this trash could be managed via recycling and composting programs.

So what can we do about this?

DIY Pencil Case
Pencil case made from recycled CapriSun drink wrappers!

Recycle what you can’t use. Dried up markers, inkless pens and short pencils can be recycled by programs like this one or help your school buy a box like this. Take left over note paper or pages with a blank side and make a new notebook by binding it!

Only buy what you need! After taking inventory of your supplies, only buy the things you don’t have and absolutely need. For things like backpacks and lunch boxes, reuse your old ones or check out thrift stores. Keep all supplies in a zipper bag or pencil box so they are organized and easy to find.

Buy sustainable supplies. Look for 100% post-consumer recycled products such as paper and plastic. Some backpacks and lunch boxes are made out of recycled materials too. Shop for food and products with minimal packaging and use reusable water bottles, containers and utensils for lunches. Aim to find the only thing missing in your student’s lunch is the food they ate!

Work with your schools, opt for electronic communication and encourage recycling and composting.

Lastly, share your own ideas on how to start a sustainable school year!