Tuesday, May 17, 2011

March Madness Recap - Science Fair

I am of the opinion that as a parent, I need to give my children as many opportunities as possible to discover loves, passions, interests, etc.  So when the science fair rolled around and Will and Ellie wanted to do projects, we started looking and brainstorming.   Of course, it was held on the Friday before Prom and Ellie's birthday party. 

We spent a little time on the internet.  I had the kids think of things they would like to learn more about - Ellie went the music route (no surprise) and Will went the explosion route (no surprise).

Will desperately wanted to do the mentos and diet coke experiment. We had to think of a way to test the experiment and decided to go with the "which-kind-of-soda-explodes-best" idea.  We have watched lots of Mythbusters and knew that we needed a guide to see which one really did explode the highest. 
Dad was the photographer here.  The thing with elementary science fairs is the experiments usually can't actually be carried out in the gym for obvious reasons, so we needed good documentation. 
  And we have our winner.  Seriously, how fun is this?  I mean, I kindof want to just buy soda and mentos and pick random days during the summer and blow them up...

Ellie is always one to think big and this year, she really want to make this.

You know, I may have my moments of feeling like supermom, but they never lead me to think this big. But she really liked this idea, so we watched a few more youtube videos and found this.

I figured this would be a little more manageable, on a smaller scale of course,  and we decided to help her make a PVC piano.   

We measured out the PVC pipes and let her hear how to match the pitch to a note on the piano, discussing shortening to make the pitch higher.  We added a coupling when tuning.  The coupling made just the top of the pipe a little wider, allowing us to have a way to make the pipes hang and the pitch resonate through. 

Then, when we had the pitches right, she wrote the names of the notes on each of the couplings.

Enoch built a stand and drilled holes to fit the pipes and we put together the basic melodies of some well known tunes.  We wanted the kids to be able to play this as they came through the fair and bought a new plastic spatula just for this.  We had the necessary Twinkle, Twinkle, You are my Sunshine, and the immortal Smoke on the Water.  

Ellie won the science project in her grade and it sits proudly by our piano at home, occasionally being featured as part of a PVC piano and piano duet of Smoke on the Water.

1 comment:

Harmony said...

I knew about the PVC piano, but the explosion project was news. I'm amazed by both! And by all you take on and manage to accomplish during the dreaded month of March!