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Spark, Slime and Speed

Celebrating Engineers Week
Sunday, February 15, 2015
12-4 p.m. - Discovery Hall, level 4

The Science Museum of Minnesota is delighted to work with the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers for the annual kick-off to National Engineers Week (February 22 – 28, 2015).

This year, engineers from around the Twin Cities and volunteers from the Science Museum will help young visitors with up to 5 experiments.

Spark (Electrical Engineering) - Steady Hands

steady handsYoung visitors will explore the fundamentals of electricity. They build an electrical circuit that includes an energy source, resistance, a light and a switch. The completed assembly is also a steady hand game that they will have fun playing and demonstrating to family and friends.

Slime (Chemical Engineering) – Slime

slimeIs it a solid? Is it a liquid? Just what is this slimy, stringy, rubbery stuff? This polymer is unique because it has qualities of both a solid and a liquid. It can take the shape of its containers like a liquid does, yet you can hold it in your hand and pick it up like a solid. As you might know, solid molecules are tight together, liquid molecules spread out and break apart (drops) polymer molecules chain themselves together (they can stretch and bend like chains) and that makes them special.

Speed (Mechanical Engineering) – Straw Rockets

cotton ball catapultsCuriosity about what lies beyond our home planet led to the first rocket launches from Earth and to many exploration missions since. Using simple materials (soda straws and paper), students will experience the processes involved in engineering a rocket. Conducting engineering tests, students will have the opportunity to answer a research question by collecting and analyzing data related to finding out the best nose cone length and predicting the motion of their model rockets.

Additional Experiment – Electroscopes

oil spillHave you ever noticed that some types of clothes are more susceptible to static cling than others? For example, a wooly sweater can have a lot of static cling, but clothing made out of cotton doesn't cling nearly as much. How well do other materials around the house produce static electricity? In this science activity you'll explore this by making a simple, homemade electroscope (an instrument that detects electric charges) and testing it out. The results may shock you!

Additional Experiment – Kalimba (Thumb Piano)

Young visitors will explore the fundamentals of sound through the vibration of metal and wood. Each visitor builds their own thumb piano and has the opportunity to discover the concepts of vibration, frequency and pitch.


Spark, Slime and Speed is a partnership with:

Society of Women Engineers


Sponsored by:

General Dynamics