Science Outreach Course

The following are lesson plans developed by students in the Science Outreach course taught by Dr. Bryan Rebar.

Winter ’14

Scattering Experiment with Particle Physics” Hidden obstacles on ramps alter the course of marbles in different ways– can you identify the nature of the obstacle based on how the marble emerges?

Bird Beak Buffet” Learn how environment shapes our features in this classic, fun demo.

Life in the Soil” We are surrounded by life we hardly ever pay attention to.  Learn how to identify these little organisms, and how to collect them right out of your own backyard!

Why Do Things Slide on Ice?” This demo elucidates how different materials slide on the surface of ice, and the physics behind what’s really going on.

Observing Radiation using a Cloud Chamber” Radiation is all around us, but we can’t see it with the naked eye.  Use a cloud chamber to learn about the kinds of background radiation and the different trails they leave.

Waves, Sound, and Energy” There’s much more to music than you ever thought!  Explore the waves created by sound and how they create the noises you hear.

pHun with pH” We use acids and bases in our lives every day- in fact, our bodies rely on acids and bases to keep us alive!  This demo uses an indicator you can make at home out of red cabbage to teach the audience about pH.

Spring ’14

Build A Lung” Using simple household items, students will learn the structure of the lungs and the importance of the diaphragm as the main respiratory muscle.

Hidden At Home” This activity will include a terrarium in which hard to find animals live, helping to demonstrate the effectiveness of camouflage for animals.  Provides a basic understanding of how camouflage works and why animals have developed it.

Using Liquid Nitrogen and Heat Sources to Explore the Connection Between Temperature and Volume” The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate the relationship between changes in temperature and changes in volume. Visitors will explore what happens to a balloon when doused in liquid nitrogen versus exposed to a flame and see how the lid of a glass jar can be tightened or loosened by cold and heat, respectively.

Seed Dispersal Techniques” This activity teaches students different dispersal methods for different plants and the importance of these dispersal methods.

“How similar am I to a zebra fish?” Genetic Similarity and Animal Models” Purpose is to give a better understanding of genetic similarity between various animals and humans allowing students to learn about their genetic makeup.

Whats the MATTER with Chemical Reactions” This workshop is to demonstrate chemical and phase changes. The audience should learn that there is a difference between a chemical and phase changes, but both involve matter.

Winter ’15

Animal Navigation” This activity teaches students how to identify different navigational systems that organisms use, share personal experiences and relate to animal navigation, and spark a general interest in the animals around them.

Bouncy Ball Experiment  Activity gives the opportunity to see scientific inquiry in everyday life through fun, hands-on experimentation and bouncy balls.

Cloaking” Participants will be able to actively explore how light is bent when it travels through a new media, how vision works, and how different lenses affect cloaking.

Comparative Anatomy” This activity helps students develop an understanding that anatomy is comparable between different species, why comparative anatomy is substantial evidence for evolution, and basic ability to interpret a phylogenetic tree and explain that life evolves from common ancestors.

Encryption, Codes, Hackers” Participants will be able to encrypt a message using a Caesar cipher, decrypt messages knowing the alphabet shift key, and understand how encryptions works.

Honeybee Communication” Participants will work in teams or hives to communicate the location of a pollen source and work to collect as much pollen as they can in a given amount of time with their artificial bees. Buzz buzz!

Oobleck: Solid, Liquid, Both or Neither?” This activity allows students to think critically about what it means to be a solid or a liquid through attempting to characterize a substance that is not clearly one or the other by making oobleck, a mixture of cornstarch and water.

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