Science Week Links
What is Science Week?
Each year through Science Week, Pittcon offers outreach and support programs for science education in the city that hosts its annual convention. Science Week is one way that Pittcon will be supporting and enhancing science education in the New Orleans area in 2015.
A variety of excellent opportunities will be available to teachers, students, and science educators.
Science Week in New Orleans
There is no charge to your school for the student programs. (However there is a $25 fee for teacher workshops.)
800-825-3221, ext 208
Marc Hubert/Don Antczak
2015 Science Week Chairs
300 Penn Center Blvd., Suite 332
Pittsburgh, PA 15235-5503
Chromatography: Coloring with Science
Chromatography can be explained in many different manners since there are a variety of methods of separation. From thin-layer to column or gas to liquid, chromatography is described as the science of separations. Many people can repeat that definition one hundred times and still not understand to the fullest extent how far chromatography can really go or even how simple it can actually be.
To liken chromatography to its more difficult definition, column chromatography can be used to show some specific interactions of separations. While explaining these interactions one would have the ability to expound on some of the major uses of chromatography such as forensics and purification. One could also simplify difficult terms and help people of all ages to understand the definition of separations in science.
To start, everyone would be supplied with safety glasses and the importance of laboratory safety would be concisely explained. The only dangers present in the lab will be isolated to the front of the room at the presenter’s location. To include more safety and to save time, a camera or laptop should be stationed at the presenter’s location for the initial experiment to be broadcast on a projector. Since potentially harmful solvents will be needed for the mobile phase, it would be best if those were isolated to the front of the classroom.
Initial Experiment: A microscale flash column chromatography experiment designed in a Pasteur pipette. Using a pre-loaded and primed column, a colored standard will be added to the column. After adding the mixture the column can be switched with one that has been loaded and is ready for elution. Using a bulb, the mixture can be forced through the stationary phase and separated into the resultant colors. All this can be done while explaining, mixtures, the stationary phase, mobile phase and retention in simple terms.
Classroom Experiment: Set up a small glass of water, a marker (not permanent) and a coffee filter or quantitative filter paper in front of the students. After the initial experiment, the students should all have an idea of chromatography. Expanding a little on the stationary phase, now the filter, the mobile phase, now water, and retention, now directly related to capillary action. I don’t even know what this is saying, do you? The students will draw a circle in the middle of the coffee filter or filter paper with a black or brown marker and fold the circle like a cone. Slightly opening the cone to allow the tip to rest in the water the students can watch the mobile phase carry “creep” up the stationary phase due to capillary action. As colors will have different affinities for the filter some of the colors will travel farther than others.
The students will receive a new piece of filter paper, a dropper and an assortment of colors to make their own designs. Using the dropper, they will apply a few drops of water to the filter and allow the separations to take over. The filters will then be set aside to dry and given to the teacher or sponsor at the end of the day. In the meantime, helpers will fold the filters into flowers or butterflies.
Learning Science through Toys!
Have you ever been intrigued by toys that glow in the dark? Have you ever wondered what Grow Toys have to do with diapers? Why are they called “Paint with Water” books? During the Learning Science through Toys student workshop, students will use an inquiry based approach to discover a connection between a popular toy and the science that explains “why” it works.
Toys are an ideal mechanism for inquiry based science instruction because toys are an everyday part of a student’s world and carry a user-friendly message about science for students and their teachers. This workshop will model methods for teaching science to the teachers while presenting science content to the students in a meaningful, relevant way. The teaching strategies used will address the needs of a broad spectrum of students.
Through the Learning Science through Toys workshop, students will increase their interest in and knowledge of science, as well as, improve their use of science process skills (all in about a ½ hour!).
Included in the session we will be asking questions and trying to find answers about a popular children’s toy; connecting to literature; engaging in a hands-on, inquiry based activity through which content will be learned; and creating a take-home reminder of the content learned in the workshop.
Step inside the Science Week Planetarium! Our inflatable dome allows students to step into outer space for a fun learning adventure about the night-time sky. This workshop will focus on locating simple constellations, the mythology behind them and basic celestial knowledge.
Come, see, and learn! Did you know that finding Orion’s Belt can let you find four other constellations? Or that Native Americans used the Big Dipper to create a myth about why leaves change color?
Learn all this and more! The mythological stories pull the students into the world of astronomy and have them leaving the planetarium totally excited to learn more about the stars and outer space. At least two chaperones or teachers are required to be in the dome during the program.
Lab Ratz Science Club
Electricity and Generating Charges – Students will experiment with electricity by generating charges and becoming human lightning rods. They will learn how an electrical charge forms and what can pass through it. Students will also learn the how magnets are very similar to electricity. Through experimentation, students will gain an understanding of how magnetism works and will make several different kinds of magnets.
During this workshop, we will explore the nature of gases through a variety of fun hands-on activities that demonstrate a variety of principles including (1) Boyle’s law (2) Charles’ law (3) the Bernoulli principle and (4) combustion of gases.
A Passion for Polymers
Students will learn what polymers are including natural and synthetic polymers. They will be able to test foods for starch and protein, make putty and learn about the relationship between molecular weight and viscosity (for polydimethyl siloxanes). Polymer properties will also be discussed.
Acids, Bases, and Indicators
This workshop starts with two colorful, attention–getting demonstrations. Some definitions and theories pertaining to acids, bases and indicators will be presented The students will also be given an opportunity to use a common indicator to test household solutions. In the workshop wrap-up, students discover explanations for the demonstrations they saw at the beginning of the workshop. All participants are guaranteed to have a lot of fun with these activities, and that’s “no lye!”.
Even though registration is currently filled, we encourage interested schools to submit their information to be placed on a wait list. In the event of an opening, the wait list will be utilized in the order they were submitted and by the available student allotments.
Submittal of an application does not guarantee your space in the event, but we will seek to accommodate as many requests as possible.
A confirmation e-mail as to the status of your registration will be sent to your school the first week of February.
- Deadline for reserving your class is February 6, 2015.
- Be sure to check session availability before making your selections.
- Students MUST arrive by 8:45 AM.
- Students MUST be chaperoned by a minimum of one adult for each 10 students.
- ALL information requested in the reservation form must be provided.