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'[OT]: Demos for Kids (Was NCSU Physics demo room'
2002\05\21@155047 by Lawrence Lile

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Tomorrow I have to put on a show for some first grade 7 year olds in my lab.
In the past, I trotted out this old vacuum chamber that we never use for
anything else.  I usually boil some room temperature water in it, then take
it out and drink it down, put a small ballooon in it and watch it get big
under vaccuum, and the like.  This time I'm thinking about putting a candle
flame inside and watching it go out.

I'm trying to think of some other cool things one can do in a modestly
equipped lab that impress first graders.  Without maiming any of the little
rugbiters.


--Lawrence



{Original Message removed}

2002\05\21@160703 by Dale Botkin

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I always liked the "guinea feather" demonstration -- in a vacuum, a
feather will fall at the same speed as a coin (the "guinea" part of the
name I remember from jr. high school science class)

Dale
--
"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that
curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
         - Arnold Edinborough


On Tue, 21 May 2002, Lawrence Lile wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\05\21@174116 by michael brown

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> Tomorrow I have to put on a show for some first grade 7 year olds in my
lab.
> In the past, I trotted out this old vacuum chamber that we never use for
> anything else.  I usually boil some room temperature water in it, then
take
> it out and drink it down, put a small ballooon in it and watch it get big
> under vaccuum, and the like.  This time I'm thinking about putting a
candle
> flame inside and watching it go out.
>
> I'm trying to think of some other cool things one can do in a modestly
> equipped lab that impress first graders.  Without maiming any of the
little
> rugbiters.

Marshmallows are kinda fun with a vacuum chamber.  They get pretty large,
till you let the air back in, then they're pretty small.  ;-)  Most kids
like explosions, so perhaps some HCl and Zinc in a test-tube to create tiny
hydrogen booms (this is safe unless you trap the gas under pressure, in
which case you could blow the bottom out of a test-tube).  Sodium is always
fun.  ;-)  You could also "float" a needle on water.

michael brown

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2002\05\21@175439 by Rex Byrns

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Liquid nitrogen will never get boring.

Throwing a little on a tile floor is an instant sweep. Shattering superballs
etc.

{Original Message removed}

2002\05\21@182859 by Alex Holden

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Lawrence Lile wrote:
> Tomorrow I have to put on a show for some first grade 7 year olds in my lab.
> In the past, I trotted out this old vacuum chamber that we never use for
> anything else.  I usually boil some room temperature water in it, then take
> it out and drink it down, put a small ballooon in it and watch it get big
> under vaccuum, and the like.  This time I'm thinking about putting a candle
> flame inside and watching it go out.

You could put a ringing electric bell or siren in it to demonstrate that
sound doesn't travel through a vacuum.

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------------ Alex Holden - http://www.linuxhacker.org ------------
If it doesn't work, you're not hitting it with a big enough hammer

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2002\05\21@191536 by Jon Baker

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Triple point of water always impressed me but that might be a bit above
their heads.. and difficult to get right ;-)

How about some kind of weather system demo.. make water vapour in the
partially evacuated chamber precipitate..

I was thinking of some other stuff, but you probably don't want to mess with
radioactive sources.

Have fun tomorrow.

Jon Baker

{Original Message removed}

2002\05\21@192210 by Martin Baker

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IF you have any lead, take a chunk, drop it in water. Then hammer the heck
out of it, forming a flat sheet thatcan be shaped in to a boat shape that
floats....???
Or you could put soda water in a volumetric, put in a vacuum chamber, and
show that gases dissolved have volume...

goo luck have fun!




At 02:49 PM 5/21/02 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2002\05\22@034924 by Scott Stephens

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VanDeGraaff's are great fun. Put a metal bowl of foam peanuts on the
terminal and watch them fly all over the room. Freedom to make a mess
without punishment gives a taste of the exhilaration of discovering the
unknown. Let them stand on insulation (plastic bucket) and watch their hair
stand on end. Make big sparks and watch fluorescent tubes glow. Shock the
timid ones and make them cry. The adventuresome (those with lower than
average dopamine) will want to try, if the teachers and doctors haven't
passivated and
poisoned them with Ritalin yet.

Scott

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2002\05\22@042039 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I'm trying to think of some other cool things one can do in a modestly
>equipped lab that impress first graders.  Without maiming any of the little
>rugbiters.

have you actually had a balloon with enough air in it to make it pop when
you pump down the chamber?

One that always intrigues me, but is really related to boiling water from
your point of view. Part of our procedures for doing things like using epoxy
for staking large components, or mixing the conformal coating for PCB's
requires outgassing after mixing. This is done in a vacuum chamber, and for
a typical mix that is an 1/8 inch thick clear layer in the bottom of a 250ml
beaker, during outgassing becomes a "boiling" mass that almost overflows the
beaker, while looking like a blancmange. Never fails to impress me.

Another trick you may be able to do, but it will take some organising to
work in an impressive way. If you can organise a container with a one way
valve that will let the air out. Put it in the chamber, and pump down. Now
ask the kids what will happen when you let the air back in the chamber. Off
course now the container has a vacuum inside and the valve will not let the
air in so it crushes. I had a teacher do something similar with a gallon can
when I was at primary school, except he had some water in the bottom, I
guess an inch or so, and had it boiling on a stove. Turned stove off, then
put cap on and put can in cold water, making sure he did them in the right
order.

Another trick you could do is break the glass on a torch bulb so the
filament is exposed. If necessary demonstrate that one will burn out in air.
Put the bulb in the vacuum chamber and pump down. Now turn on the bulb :)
Problem with this one is to organise power into the chamber if you do not
happen to have suitable connections available.

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2002\05\22@100316 by Lawrence Lile

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We rigged up a loud beeper inside the vacuum chamber, as well as a baloon
partially inflated, and a graduated cylinder of water.  If I put warmed
water in there, the cylinder boils rapidly after about a minute under
vacuum.  Room temperature water takes about ten minutes to start boiling,
making for a boring demonstration.  The baloon blows up to a great size,
then flies all over the inside of the bell jar when I let the air bback in
for a dramatic effect.

When the water boils, it cools, so I put a thermocouple in there.  When the
water has cooled to say 85 F, I shut off the vacuum, lift off the bell jar
and drink the water that was just boiling.

Maybe I will try a marshmallow, too!

We also found a high voltage supply, and are rigging up a little sparky
stuff.

--Lawrence



{Original Message removed}

2002\05\22@101106 by Lawrence Lile

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We have six power connections into the vacuum chamber, originally for
thermocouples but they are arranged with 20 ga wire so they will carry a
little current.  One connection goes to a battery for my alarm (didn't know
wqhat a battery would do in a vacuum), another is used for a thermocouple to
the grad. cylinder, and a third pair is free.  That might work OK for a bare
bulb demonstration.
\

--Lawrence

P.S. Everybody writes songs about candlelight dinners.  Why don't they write
songs about bare bulb suppers?
>
> Another trick you could do is break the glass on a torch bulb so the
> filament is exposed. If necessary demonstrate that one will burn out in
air.
> Put the bulb in the vacuum chamber and pump down. Now turn on the bulb :)
> Problem with this one is to organise power into the chamber if you do not
> happen to have suitable connections available.
>
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2002\05\22@160229 by hard Prosser

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Also, If you connect a buzzer in series with (or parallel or instead of )
the bulb it will sound weaker as the air is pumped out.
Richard P






We have six power connections into the vacuum chamber, originally for
thermocouples but they are arranged with 20 ga wire so they will carry a
little current.  One connection goes to a battery for my alarm (didn't know
wqhat a battery would do in a vacuum), another is used for a thermocouple
to
the grad. cylinder, and a third pair is free.  That might work OK for a
bare
bulb demonstration.
\

--Lawrence

P.S. Everybody writes songs about candlelight dinners.  Why don't they
write
songs about bare bulb suppers?
>
> Another trick you could do is break the glass on a torch bulb so the
> filament is exposed. If necessary demonstrate that one will burn out in
air.
> Put the bulb in the vacuum chamber and pump down. Now turn on the bulb :)
> Problem with this one is to organise power into the chamber if you do not
> happen to have suitable connections available.
>
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