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5 tips for summer

In Portland, Oregon, school's almost out and here comes the elusive Pacific Northwest sun (we think....!) Your children are excited for the break, but how do you keep them engaged? 

Here's five tips to keep them from getting bored and prevent the summer learning slide:

1. DO SOME EXPERIMENTS

There are plenty of great online sites for quick and easy science experiments (sciencebuddies.comstevespangler.com, and www.education.com/activity/science).
yellow scope acids bases ph Or sign up for Camp Yellow Scope and we’ll send you fun experiments every week, all summer long! (Launching June 5th)

If you don’t have time to pull together the supplies for experiments, Yellow Scope science kits come with everything you’ll need to keep your scientist engaged and busy all while learning some cool science!

 

2. READ EVERY DAY

ada twistSome of our favorite girl power science books are Andrea Beatty’s Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Ada Twist, Scientist.

We also love the beautifully illustrated Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachael Ignotofsky. Readers will find geneticists, volcanologists, and primatologists, as well as mathematicians and chemists. 

Introduce the world of science with The Fourteenth Goldfish, where fifth grader Ellie meets a teen who looks like her scientist grandfather. Explore themes of family, friendship, life, death, and what’s possible through science. By Jennifer L. Holm, three time Newbery Honor winner.

Also, check out Jeannine Atkins' Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science, which showcases three real-life scientists (an entomologist, a paleontologist, and an astronomer), who loved science as children themselves.

3. VISIT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY

Your local library offers some wonderful STEM learning opportunities. In the Portland area, Multnomah County Library has plenty of them. Check out their “Discovery STEM Kits”.

You can also visit Rockwood Makerspace, which provides "access to innovation, technology, equipment, software and supportive mentors”. It’s geared toward middle school kids, but is open to all.
 

4. SPEND A DAY AT A MUSEUM

Take a field trip to your local science museum, aquarium or arboretum for some hands-on science fun!
Around Portland:
OMSI: Our very own science and technology museum with exhibits, a planetarium, and a submarine! (They offer summer camps too!)

Hoyt Arboretum: Portland's "museum of living trees" includes 190 ridge-top acres, accessible by 12 miles of hiking trails.

oregon coast aquarium tunnel
The World Forestry Center: Learn about forests through hands-on exhibits and gallery, meet woodland creatures, try river rafting, and climb on Peggy the Train, our logging locomotive.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium: If you’re up for a drive to Newport, this aquarium will make it well worth your while with animal feedings, special presentations and a mid-aquarium tunnel!

5. SIGN UP FOR A SCIENCE SUMMER CAMP

Check out local science-themed summer camps in your area. Some of our favorites in Portland are:

trackers northwestTrackers Northwest: Day and overnight camps for kids and teens, wilderness survival and homesteading outdoor programs for all ages.

Saturday AcademyClasses and camps in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and the arts for students grades 2-12.

App Camp for Girls: Week-long summer day program where girls can put their creative powers to work designing and building apps, while learning more about the business of software

Girls Build PDX: Girls get to explore hands-on building and trying something new, on the beautiful University of Portland campus (now in Grants Pass, too!).

yellow scope girls in stem

While women make up half of the workforce in the United States, they currently hold less than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). To close this gender gap, adults must make these subjects not only cool, but also relatable. STEM careers are achievable, regardless of gender, and women have the power to build a stable, rewarding future.

Inspiring girls to study STEM should start at a young age. However, a lasting impact requires both physical and emotional support from both parents and teachers. It’s more than what you do or say—it’s how you say it. Here are some points to keep in mind:

MEDIA AND POP CULTURE REFERENCES

hidden figuresLet’s face it; movies and television shows rarely depict women in STEM fields. And the few times they do, their appearance is skewed toward “geek” or “sexy scientist.”

However, pop culture is making strides toward accurately representing women in STEM and showing more capable, confident scientists. For example, current middle or high school-aged girls might see themselves in Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson—the characters in Hidden Figures— or even aspire to be them one day. The work of Johnson and her colleagues directly contributed to John Glenn’s space endeavors.

doc mcstuffinsYounger girls might get a burst of inspiration from watching TV shows like Doc McStuffins. The Disney Junior hit features an African-American girl named Dottie who plays veterinarian to her collection of stuffed animals. “Doc” has ignited a few fashion trends as well, most notably her white doctor’s coat and medical tools. Girls can take their Doc (and science) obsession a step further by playing online games and activities.

HANDS-ON LEARNING

Conducting experiments, both in the classroom and at home, gives girls the opportunity to explore and question how things actually work. Experiments encourage risk-taking and problem-solving, two skills that improve with practice.

yellow scope kidBut rather than dictate the project, invite her to select an experiment or activity in a topic of interest. From there, ask questions: Why do you think this happened? What can you do differently next time?

Another way to foster a love of STEM is by visiting science centers and joining hands-on exhibits. The interactive nature of children’s museums encourages discovery and exploration, all while teaching how STEM concepts exist in the world.

MENTORING

Along with hands-on experiments, introduce her to a successful woman currently working in a STEM field. A mentor can help transform the stereotype of the nerdy computer scientist into a more accurate representation of a STEM professional. Depending on her age, a visit to a mentor’s office or lab will paint a more accurate picture of what it looks like to be a woman in a STEM field.

ENCOURAGE HER INTEREST IN STEM

yellow scope girl scoutsAs parents or educators, perhaps the most meaningful action you can take is encouraging your daughter’s interest and participation in science, technology, engineering or math. With that understanding, parents must follow up with questions about math and science classes, and educators should support daily projects and foster curiosity in the classroom.  

STEM fields hold tremendous opportunity for women at all stages of life—from childhood education through adulthood. By spurring an interest at a young age, girls have the ability to explore STEM throughout their adolescent years and affirm a lifelong passion. It’s up to parents and educators to support their endeavors and inspire the next generation of STEM leaders.

 

scott rhodesGuest author: Scott Rhodes, Vice Provost of Enrollment

With an 18-year background in higher education, Scott Rhodes leads enrollment and recruitment strategies for Florida Polytechnic University. His responsibilities encompass undergraduate admissions, graduate enrollment and enrollment marketing, financial aid, student records and registration and enrollment market research.

 


 ada lovelace

THE FIRST COMPUTER PROGRAMMER

IMAGINATION OR VISION?

ada lovelaceImagination is fun – it’s responsible for movies, stories, and our very own daydreams. But what if what you imagined was actually a vision of the future?

Inventors tend to think like this. They might see a wheel and invent a bicycle, or a bird and invent a plane. Ada Lovelace saw a calculator and imagined a computer!

Think of the difference between a calculator and a computer. A calculator is useful, sure – especially in math class! But also if you’re building something like a skyscraper, doubling a recipe for baking cakes, shopping at the grocery store, or trying to get a rocket  launched into space.

A basic calculator is great for short-cutting math problems, but it doesn’t play music, show videos, or let you draw pictures.

Ada Lovelace imagined and understood a world of computers that was over a century ahead of her time. Let’s learn more about this famous female of computer programming.

ADA LOVELACE (Augusta Ada Byron) (1815-1852)

ada lovelaceAda Lovelace was born in London, the child of Lord Byron, a famous Romantic poet. However, his marriage to Ada’s mother Annabella was quick and unhappy. They separated a month after Ada’s birth, and Ada would never meet him.

Determined her daughter would not inherit her father’s mood swings and erratic behavior, Annabella immersed Ada in education by the age of four. Particularly subjects that were full of logic, like mathematics. One of her tutors was Mary Somerville, an astronomer!

By the time she was 12, Ada was fascinated with the idea of making a flying apparatus, and toyed with ideas of powered flight.

SEEING THE FIRST CALCULATOR

analytical machineAt a party when she was 17, Ada met “the father of the computer”, Charles Babbage. They talked mathematics and Babbage shared all about his ‘Difference Engine’ that he was making to do calculations. It was basically the first design of a (giant) calculator.

Ada went to his house the next day and was able to see the thing in person. She was hooked. From then on, she and Babbage wrote letters to each other until her death at age 36.

But Babbage was already working on another, better machine before he finished the first one. He called it the ‘Analytical Engine’, and this one could do even more difficult calculations.

He asked an Italian engineer to write an article about it, and enlisted Lovelace to translate it from French to English.

THE FIRST COMPUTER PROGRAM

ada lovelace programLovelace did translate it, but had her own thoughts and comments that she added in as Notes. Her additions made the article three times longer than the original! It was published in 1843, and she only initialed it with A.A.L., for her birth name (the name we know now comes from her marriage).

Within these Notes is the very first computer program. She explained (in Note G) the sequence of operations for how a code could be written so the machine could calculate Bernoulli numbers.

Lovelace also mentioned that there was no reason the machine couldn’t also read codes for letters and symbols too, in addition to just numbers. She talked about how it should be able to repeat a series of instructions – something we know as ‘looping’, used in programming today.

IMAGINING COMPUTER SCIENCE ITSELF

ada lovelaceBut besides offering the very first computer algorithm, Lovelace saw beyond the math. She saw this ‘engine’ theoretically being able to do other functions. That it "might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent."

Wait, a machine that could do something other than represent quantities? This was unheard of. Lovelace had just quietly invented the concept of computing.

She said that “the science of operations, as derived from mathematics more especially, is a science of itself, and has its own abstract truth and value.” By 'science of itself' she unwittingly refers to computer science!

She figured that sound, music, text, and pictures could made digital and even manipulated by engines such as these. This was going way beyond just the numbers.

LATER LEGACY

ada lovelace faster than thought bookThough her notes were published, Ada Lovelace’s visionary insights were just too big for the rest of the world to comprehend.

It was only about a century later that a book called “Faster Than Thought: A Symposium on Digital Computing Machines” would bring them back into the limelight. This was in 1953, when computer science was just beginning to be explored.

In the ‘70s, the US Department of Defense made a new programming language.  A Navy Commander suggested naming it ‘Ada’ in tribute. ‘Ada’ is still used today in everything from space research, to transportation, to healthcare.

So, what do you imagine? Who knows where it could lead!

 


Thanks for your votes - all 1221 of them!

 

Thanks to your support, Yellow Scope has been selected as a FedEx Small Business Finalists for 2017. Thank you Yellow Scope community and thank you FedEx!

What's next?
FedEx will choose 10 winners from the 100 finalists. Winners will receive a combination of grant money (up to $25,000 for Grand Prize winners) and FedEx Office print and business services. FedEx started this grant program four years ago to help small businesses grow. We hope to be among the amazing pool of FedEx small business winners. Click here to watch our video application to learn more about how the FedEx grant will help us grow our business and connect more girls to science.

Our gift to you!
As a thank you to our Yellow Scope community for your votes, we're offering 10% off any order from our online store through Sunday April 23, 2017. Use code FEDEXFINALIST. 

At Yellow Scope, we're committed to empowering girls and closing the gender gap in science!

Thank you for supporting us in our mission,
Marcie, Kelly and the Yellow Scope Team


FedEx  

bizchampion

Thanks for your votes - all 7121 of them!

Thanks to your support, Yellow Scope has been named a 2017 American Small Business Champion by SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with the support of Sam’s Club.

Together you voted for us more 7000 (!) times - confirming what we already knew - our Yellow Scope community is the best! 

SCORE SCORE is rewarding us with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, specialized training, publicity, and business mentoring. See the full list of the 102 American Small Business Champions here!
 
We are now in the running to win one of three additional $25,000 grand prizes! This summer, a judging panel of small business experts will select three Grand Champions from the group of 102 Small Business Champions to be announced September 14 at the SCORE Awards Gala. (Fingers crossed!)

You can help us get closer to this goal by sharing our good news on social media using the #bizchampion hashtag.
 
Yellow Scope shop itemsIn celebration of our Championship win, we're offering 10% off any order from our online store  through Monday April 3, 2017. Use code BIZCHAMPION. 

At Yellow Scope, we're committed to empowering girls and closing the gender gap in science!

Thank you,
Marcie, Kelly and the Yellow Scope Team


The Science of Hugs

February 14, 2017

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HAPPY HUG DAY!

hug candy valentineIt’s Valentine’s Day! A day all about appreciating the ones we love, which can include giving gifts, having special meals, and spending time together. But none of those would mean as much without a big ol' hug!

Hugs from loved ones and friends make us feel good - we feel more connected and supported. But the benefits don’t stop there.

Science tells us that hugs can actually make us healthier.

HEALTH AND STRESS

For example, hugs make us less stressed. Now, we think of stress as a bad thing, but evolutionarily it’s really quite ingenious. The hormones released during stress help us to be at our peak in fight or flight situations, like running from a lion (back in the old days). Our heart rate increases, blood pressure goes up, muscles get energized, and you even think more clearly.

lion causes stressMost of us aren't trying to escape from lions nowadays. Today stress is more likely to be the day to day worries we carry around with us.

Neurologist Robert Sapolsky says, "For 99 percent of the beasts on this planet, stress is about three minutes of screaming in terror after which it’s either over with or you’re over with.  And we turn it on for 30-year mortgages.”

The effects of having our bodies bathed in stress hormones long term are devastating. Along with increased heart rates and prolonged high blood pressure, other nonessential systems get turned off, like your digestion, growth, and notably, your immune system.

When your body is always in high gear, the risks go up for diabetes, digestion issues, heart problems, and susceptibility to illness.

HOW HUGS HELP

girls hugThe challenge is to find ways to turn off those stress signals and give our bodies a break. Valentine’s Day is a chance to try out one of the best ways – hugging.

Turns out hugs reduce stress both directly, and psychologically. The benefit of hugs may seem obvious on an emotional level, but let's take a look at the science too:

  • Hugs involve putting pressure on the skin, which contains receptors called Pacinian corpuscles. These little bio triggers send signals to a nerve bundle in the brain called the vagus nerve. A hug tells the vagus nerve to slow down the heart, which then decreases blood pressure.

  • Hugging makes us feel part of a supportive social network. According to the World Health Organization, feeling part of a community is a major determinant of health. A recent study shows evidence that hugging conveys social support, which is directly linked to healthier immune systems, and better antibody responses to vaccines. Hugs can literally help to ward off the common cold!

  • Hugging decreases the stress hormone cortisol, calming us down.

    girl hugs dog
  • Hugging triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which promotes feelings of trust, bonding and loyalty. Known affectionately as the ‘cuddle hormone’, this little chemical is the foundation for human connection.
So there you have it:  hugging is good for your health! And for you pet lovers out there, hugging and contact with your pet counts, so take time for cuddles from your dog and cat too!

 

ARE YOU GOOD AT SCIENCE?

How would you rate your science knowledge? Think you'd do well on a science quiz? How you answer may depend on whether you are male or female. If you're female, you may think you aren't that good at science.

Is that because boys are better at science than girls? NO!

In fact, women and men (and girls and boys) are both equally capable in all STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

So what's the critical factor? Confidence.

A TELLING STUDY ON CONFIDENCE

There are many studies showing that women underestimate their abilities in science, and this lack of confidence affects their willingness to pursue STEM subjects and careers. This can start as early as age 6!

A Cornell/Washington State University study gauged confidence in both male and female college students. The students were given a science quiz, but first asked to rate themselves on scientific ability on a scale of 1 to 10. Women said 6.5; men 7.6.

After the quiz, they were asked how well they thought they did. Women said they thought they got 5.8 out of 10 questions right, men figured about 7.1.

So how'd they really do? Turns out, their scores were very close. Women got 7.6; men 7.9.

So what can you do to help boost the confidence of the young girls in your life?

Here are five things we, as parents, can do to set the stage for raising STEM-confident girls.

1. GIVE THEM STEM TOYS

Okay, this one hit home for us, so we had to start here.

If you've visited a large toy store recently, you'll notice that there are specific "boy" sections and "girl" sections. Girls get pink princess dolls and makeup kits, and boys get connector sets and exploding volcanoes.

Science kits are usually marketed to boys, with pictures of boys on the boxes and a blue color scheme. And they're usually shelved in the boy section of the store.

A simple Google image search for 'science kits for girls' brings up a barrage of beauty labs and spa kits. This kind of messaging tells girls that real science is not for them, and reinforces the idea that science is 'a boy thing'.

Thankfully, companies like Goldieblox, Roominate, and Little Bits (and Yellow Scope, too) are working to counteract this trend by creating quality STEM toys that appeal to girls.

These kinds of hands-on toys expose girls to engineering, coding, building and experimenting early, so when girls encounter STEM topics later in school they'll think: "I know that, I can do that, I'm good at that."

So tell girls that science is for them by surrounding them with toys and projects that challenge gender stereotypes.

2. ENCOURAGE TEAM SPORTS

Sports are a great way to burn energy and develop social skills, but there's another benefit that may not be so obvious. Though winning is the goal, losing can actually be a good thing!

In a world where girls feel pressure to be perfect, learning to shrug off failure can help prepare them for the real world.

Being able to own it when she wins, but knowing that life goes on when she loses, can help her feel less intimidated to take on "hard" subjects, like science and math. If she get the answer wrong, she'll have the grit to try again. No big deal.

After 1972 Title IX legislation, studies showed that girls who played on team sports were more likely to graduate from college, secure a job, and work in traditionally male industries.

Confidence isn't thinking you won't fail, it's not being afraid of set-backs.

3. ENCOURAGE GIRLS TO GET DIRTY

Have you seen Verizon's Inspire Her Mind ad? The video follows one girl growing up being told "Don't get dirty." "Be careful with that." "Why don't you hand that to your brother." Subtle statements like this can discourage girls from pursuing STEM subjects in school and beyond.

Studies show that both teachers and parents give more attention to boys than girls in math.

And in museums, parents explain science concepts to boys three times more than to girls.

So, take her to your local science museum for some hands-on play. Go out of your way to ask her how many legs that insect has, if she wants to help repair the fence, or to calculate the cost of two boxes of her favorite cereal.

Incorporating math and science into your every day life will build her confidence and show her that she can do it!

4. EXPOSE HER TO FEMALE ROLE MODELS

Remember that video of British school kids who were asked to draw a firefighter, a surgeon, and a fighter pilot? Of the 66 pictures the kids drew, only 5 of them were women. The children were shocked when a real firefighter, surgeon, and fighter pilot walked in and they were all women!

For girls to think they belong in traditionally male jobs, they need to see women in those jobs. This will help them realize, "If they can do it, I can do it."

Know any female scientists, engineers or FBI agents? Take your child on a tour of their workplace. Or ask them to visit to your child’s classroom to give a presentation.

Reading the stories of real women in science is another great way to expose girls to the important role that women have played in science throughout history. Some great book recommendations:

Don't forget movies and TV shows, too!

  • Hidden Figures. The true story of three black, female mathematicians who were instrumental in NASA’s big ‘60s moon launch.

  • xploration stationXploration Station. A TV show about real scientists solving real puzzles, hosted by marine biologist Danni Washington, and ‘the Space Gal’ Emily Calandrelli, former NASA employee and field correspondent for Bill Nye Saves the World.  

 

5._FIND FICTIONAL ROLE MODELS

Stories about girls solving puzzles, being detectives, and using their brains are popping up everywhere.

Bring home books with science girl heroines, like Ada Twist, Scientist, Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Harry Potter.

moon girl devil dinosaurCheck out comic books like Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur...

Anthologies like Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and Gadgets...

Or shows like Project Mc² (on Netflix), PBS's SciGirls, and the rebooted Magic School Bus (coming soon to Netflix!).


In addition to our new ACIDS, BASES & pH SCIENCE KIT, here are 10 other great STEM and STEAM gifts that have caught our eye this holiday season.

We chose these toys because they're from brands we trust. They're high quality and were created with real science in mind. They'll keep girls inspired and engaged. We think they're the kind of toys kids will come back to again and again. Plus they're all super fun! 

1. GOLDIEBLOX INVENTION MANSION

  Goldiblocks Invention Mansion

Winner of an Oppenheim Platinum Award, this new kit from our friends at GoldieBlox encourages budding engineers to build their own dollhouse – complete with trap doors, bridges and zip-lines!

Ages 6+. $59.99. goldieblox.com

    2. GIANT SPACE COLORING POSTER

    Pirasta space poster

      Space-loving girls will go crazy for this giant coloring poster from Pirasta. It’s chock full of aliens, spaceships and robots. Tape it to the wall or spread it out on the floor. Color alone or with friends. Any way you do it, this poster will provide hours of coloring fun for your little astronaut.

      All ages. $19.95. pirastanyc.com

      3. RULE YOUR ROOM KIT

         Rule Your Room kit Little Bits

        From the creators at Little Bits, the new Rule Your Room kit comes with all the bits and instructions for 8 different inventions that allow kids to control their stuff.

        Ages 8+. $99.95. littlebits.cc

        4. ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST BOOK

         ada twist scientist book

        From the creators of Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer, comes this new story of Ada Twist, a young scientist exploring the world around her. An inspiring story of science, finding your passion and sticking with it, young readers will be inspired to start experimenting too!

        Ages 5-8. $17.95 at your local bookstore

        5. CANDY CARNIVAL BUILDING SET

          Roominate carnival toy

          Created by female engineering grads from Stanford, Roominate toys encourage girls to design, build and wire their own dollhouses. With Cotton Candy Carnival, kids can build a Ferris wheel or carousel, then add circuits and wires to start them spinning.

          Ages 8+. $44.99. roominate.com

          6. SCIENCE SET TATTOOS

            science set tattoos

            We love the artist-designed temporary tattoos from Tattly. The Science Set contains eight different designs including a DNA strand, a microscope and a beaker set.

            All ages. $7.50. tattly.com

            7. HAPPY ATOMS KIT

                Thames & Kosmos happy atoms kit

              The new Happy Atoms science kit from Thames & Kosmos allows kids to build molecules, then snap photos and use an app to identify the molecule and learn about its properties. Pretty cool!

              Ages 9+. $159. Preorder at indiegogo.com.

              8. PERIODIC TABLE BUILDING BLOCKS

                periodic table blocks

                For the young chemist in your life! This set of wooden building blocks includes 20 six-sided blocks displaying each of the 118 elements from the Periodic Table. Hand made in the USA.

                Ages 2+. $32.95. uncommongoods.com

                9. PIPER COMPUTER

                  Play piper minecraft computer kit

                  The Minecraft fan in your family will love the Piper computer kit. The kit encourages kids to build their own computer and learn about electronics - all while playing a Minecraft mod!

                  Ages 7-13. $299. playpiper.com

                  10. STEM DOLLS

                    Lottie dolls STEM

                    We love these award-winning dolls from Lottie, designed with bodies based on an average nine-year-old girl. With inspiring background stories, this collection encourages girls to learn about science - from butterflies to astronomy to paleontology!

                    Ages 3+. $9.95 - 24.95. lottie.com


                    pH GirlIt's an acid, it's a base ... it's pH Girl!
                    Faster than a chemical reaction,
                    Able to turn cabbage into a scientific tool...
                    Meet Isabel, otherwise known as pH Girl!

                    YELLOW SCOPE'S NEW SUPERHERO

                    When curiosity strikes, Isabel dons her goggles and cape, and in a flash transforms into ... pH Girl!

                    pH girl's hydrangeasFueled by the power of Hydrogen, pH Girl is always on the lookout for acids and bases. Whether she's planting hydrangeas in the garden, polishing her safety goggles, or baking cupcakes, she can tell you the pH of everyday items faster than you can say "pipette"!

                     

                     

                    pH girl Did you know that pH stands for the power of Hydrogen?
                    Hydrogen is an element, one of the building blocks of everything in the universe. Scientists use a piece of equipment called a pH meter to measure the amount of hydrogen ions (H+) in a liquid. This tells them whether the liquid is an acid or a base. Strong acids have lots of H+ ions, weak acids have less, and bases have even less.

                    MEASURING pH WITH CABBAGE...?

                    If you don't have a pH meter, you can approximate pH using chemical indicators. Red cabbage is a natural acid-base indicator. Pigment chemicals in red cabbage change color when they mix with acids and bases. Red cabbage juice turns red or pink when mixed with acids, and blue or greens when mixed with bases. Pretty cool, right?

                    pH kitTo do some fun acid-base experiments at home, check out our new Acids, Bases & pH Kit. With pH Girl as their lab partner, girls will have fun uncovering the mysteries of acids and bases all around them! The detailed and creative lab notebook outlines 19+ new and exciting chemistry experiments - with plenty of supplies and ideas for girls to design their own.

                    So grab your test tubes and get ready to explore your world!


                    little labs yellow scope
                    BALLOON ROCKET!

                    THINKING ABOUT MOVEMENT

                    Watching a rocket propel itself into space is one of the most exciting things to see. But did you ever wonder what makes it go?

                    Well, yes, fuel of course. But fuel is only pushing against the ground. Why does the rocket move in the opposite direction, up?

                    You might have heard this famous phrase before:

                    "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

                    That’s from Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion. This law helps us to predict how things will move.

                    Wanna test this yourself? Let’s make a balloon rocket!

                    WHAT YOU’LL NEED

                    • Yard stick/measuring tape
                    • String
                    • Balloon
                    • Masking tape
                    • Straight drinking straw
                    • Data table on paper that looks like this:

                       

                      Circumference

                      Distance Traveled

                       

                    You may also want a friend or parent to help as your lab partner!

                    LET'S GET STARTED

                      1. Blow up a balloon as big as you can. Pinch it off, but don't tie it closed.
                      2. Wrap a piece of string around the middle of the balloon. (Your lab partner can hold the balloon closed while you wrap the string around it.)
                      3. Measure the length of the piece of string. This is the circumference of balloon – or how big around the balloon is. Enter this length in the data table.
                      4. Thread a long piece of string (10-15 feet) through the drinking straw.
                      5. Attach the straw to the balloon with two pieces of masking tape.
                      6. Attach one end of the string to a doorknob, a wall, or have your lab partner hold it.
                      7. Pull the other end of the string tight and make sure it is level. Move the inflated balloon toward this end of the string.
                      8. You're ready for launch! Let the balloon go and watch it fly like a rocket!
                      9. Measure how far it went with your yard stick or measuring tape. Record the distance in your table.
                      10. Now change the size of the balloon by blowing it up less, say half full, and repeat the steps. Try again with the balloon about a quarter full. Record your results in the table.

                    CONCLUSION

                    What's going on?
                    When you let go of the balloon, the air inside rushed out creating a force called thrust. Since the balloon is so light, the air is enough to propel (or push) the balloon forward.

                    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction:
                    Physicists call the air that came out of the balloon the ‘action force’ and the force that pushed the balloon forward the ‘reaction force’. When an action force goes in one direction, the reaction force goes in the opposite direction. The bigger the action force, the bigger the reaction force. This is why the balloon with most air in it went the farthest!

                    With real rockets, thrust comes from the force of burning rocket fuel as it blasts from the rockets engine. As the engines blast down, the rocket goes up! Just as Newton predicted: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In other words, when you push on something, it pushes back on you just as hard!

                    SHARE WITH US!

                    Let us know what you did. Share your photos and results with us on Facebook, Twitter, or send us an email to info@yellow-scope.com. We love getting your messages!

                    For more exciting experiments, check out our Science Kits on the Shop tab of our website!

                     


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