Thursday, September 23, 2010

Remington Science Camp: Steamboats & Hot Air Balloons

If you've been on Huntingdon Ave. on a Tuesday night, you may have come across Beth Barbush surrounded by kids and a table full of art supplies.

(The Baltimore Sun wrote an article about her Porch Art project in July)

One month, Beth was out of town. John Rowley, another neighbor and member of the Greater Remington Improvement Association (GRIA) substituted with a spin-off class called Porch Science.

One small grant and a little planning later, a new project was born: Remington Science Camp.

Tonight is class #2, and the kids will be making hot air balloons!

Check out the above video to see an example. Step-by-step instructions can be found here.

The classes are part of a month long series designed to teach 11-16 year olds about energy and how we encounter it in our everyday lives.

Several methods of energy production will be addressed: heat engines, electric motors/generators, and combustion.

I feel like I'm going to learn as much as the students! Mostly I've been sticking to what I know- my role so far has been to help out making dinner and dessert for everyone.

(By the way, did you know that popcorn is a sort of basic model for steam energy?!)

Tuesday night I brought some oatmeal raisin and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and the students made putt-putt boats to learn about steam power and combustion.

Such an awesome DIY project.

Special thanks to John Rowley for designing this series and sending out the links. Here he is with a basic diagram explaining how boiling water sends out steam and creates energy:

A blurry photo of lighting the candle on his demo steam boat:

Everyone working on their boats:

I can't make tonight's hot air balloon class because I have a DIY Fest meeting to attend.

I've been thinking about my plan for dinner next week for the kids. I've been trying to come up with some exciting meat-free meals that all kids will enjoy. So far the plan is to make a cheesy potato casserole with a side of Moosewood's sweet soy-sesame greens as a side dish.

Other quick casserole ideas to feed a group of about 10 young teens would be much appreciated.

Making things bubble, combust, float, and spin? Science is fun!

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