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Science Fair a Success

science-fair-2016-tileOn Friday, October 7, a group of 12th graders who are pursuing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma held a science fair geared primarily to middle schoolers but open to the entire school community. The fair was a collaboration of students in IB Chemistry, IB Biology, and IB Environmental Systems and Societies who have been working on it since the start of the school year. The students set up stations and performed experiments and provide explanations about how the experiments worked. Kudos to our young scientists for putting on a well organized, fun, and informative science fair! Read more about the science fair and experiments below.

Bursting Color: The Mysterious Art of Milk
Participants: Coco, Lina, and Molly
Our project is finding the bonds between different liquids. We use food coloring, different type of milk, and detergent as the main materials. We drop four drops of food coloring in the milk and put the cotton swab with detergent on in the middle of the food coloring. Then, the colors in the milk suddenly burst into different shapes depend on the type of the milk because the detergent reacts with the fat in the milk.

Zoom Jar
Participants: Seonna, Meredith, and Ciara
This experiment involves putting ethanol into a plastic water bottle and holding a flame over the top of the bottle. The meeting of the flame and alcohol in the bottle produces a loud sound and an explosive flame. One difficulty was that we started out using a glass jar and had to modify the experiment through the use of a plastic water bottle to produce better results.

science-fair-2016Foggy Situation: Who blew the bubble?
Participants: Kearsten, Romy, and Luchi
Our experiment involves using dry ice, soap, and warm water to create huge bubbles. When dry ice is placed in warm water, sublimation occurs. This warm water allows for a faster rate of heat transfer to the solid carbon dioxide, which causes this sublimation. The soap solution creates a thin film over the top of whatever container we are choosing to use (bowl, beaker, cylinder) and bubbles form from the gas that rises from the dry ice, which causes a bubble to create and expand as more of this gas from the dry ice arises. This project was super fun and cool to try out. We didn’t know how big these bubbles could get! We think it will be a fun experiment for the middle schoolers to play with and meanwhile can understand how sublimation works as well as the change of state of the dry ice.

Elephant Toothpaste
Participants: Theresa, Lula, and Sophie
This experiment involves using hydrogen peroxide and sodium iodide in order to make foam. We are using 30% hydrogen peroxide, which is very toxic and needs to be handled with care. This reaction is exothermic meaning that it releases heat and oxygen that is removed from the hydrogen peroxide via the sodium iodide used as a catalyst. This experiment will be taken outside for safety reasons. Wait to be bedazzled by colored reactions!

Calcium Alginate
Participants: Kelsie, Victoria, and Srikari
Our experiment centers on the interaction between sodium alginate and calcium chloride. When sodium alginate reacts with a calcium chloride solution, the sodium ions in the alginate are replaced by calcium ions from the calcium chloride. This produces a substance called calcium alginate. Calcium alginate is a firm gelatinous substance and is used in wound dressings, foods, and enzyme immobilization.

The Science of Sound
Participants: Star, Anny, and Kaya
We had three parts to our experiment. One was showing how air waves moved by forcing air out of a small hole cut in the bottom of a five gallon bucket. The second showed the way sound travelled through solids by tying string to a spoon, then tapping it to send vibrations from the string to the ear. The third part showed sound waves by making salt on cling film stretched over a bowl vibrate and move into patterns depending on the pitch of voice. Everything went smoothly and the girls enjoyed the interactive nature of our project. By far the experiment that everyone enjoyed most was seeing the sound waves in the salt.