This is the
second month for both Craftsman and Scientist so the ideas here are limited. Go
back to last month’s Baloo. There were a lot of ideas there. CD
Baltimore Area Council
Ask any boy what a scientist is and he can tell you.
A scientist is the guy who sends men to the moon, and who builds space ships
that travel to distant planets to send back pictures for them to study. A
scientist is a person who builds lasers and atom-smashers, and computers. A
scientist makes and designs all kinds of neat inventions.
Ask the same boy what makes the scientist any
different from anyone else and he may not be able to answer. Perhaps most people
wouldn’t be able to answer. The answer is that as a person the scientist is no
different from anyone else, but when he is working he questions everything and
makes tests and experiments to make sure things are true. If he can’t explain
something, he makes up a hypothesis. If one hypothesis doesn’t work, he looks
for another, until he finds one that can be proven over and over again by
Visit an eye specialist and find out
how the eye works.
Have a visiting scientist demonstrate
an experiment related to the badge requirements.
Visit an airport and ask an expert to
explain flight principles.
Have a slow-motion bicycle-riding
contest to demonstrate balancing skills.
Do some of the experiments found in the
Webelos Scout book.
Practice balance skills.
Make some optical illusions and show
how the eyes converge.
Discuss various branches of science and
how they differ.
Study fog and how it is formed.
Invite a weather expert to talk to the
Den or visit a weather station to learn about weather and air pressure.
Make Crystals You Can Eat
you’ve ever eaten rock candy or spooned sugar onto your morning cereal, then
you’ve come face-to-face with crystals. Ice, table salt, glassware and sugar are
just a few of the many substances that make up crystals. The best way for
Webelos Scouts to learn how crystals are formed in nature is to perform an
experiment to make crystals.
Pour one cup of water into a small pan. Cover and bring it to a boil. Turn off
the heat and add two cups of cane sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let cool. Pour
sugar solution into a tall glass. Tie a piece of clean white string to a pencil
or stick and place the stick across the glass so that the string hangs down into
the liquid. Put the glass in a cool place for a few days. In a short time small
crystals will form along the sides of the glass. Soon they will begin to cling
to the string. After several days, large crystals, hard as a rock, will have
formed around the string. Lift the string out of the glass and taste some
delicious homemade rock candy.
Unlike living things, crystals grow by adding layer upon layer of their own
substance to the exterior surface. In growing, tiny atoms in a crystal naturally
arrange themselves in planes or flat surfaces. They eventually form a geometric
pattern in space. Some crystals arrange themselves in a six-sided structure;
others in ten-sided or twelve-sided formations. It is impossible to see these
tiny atoms when you look closely at a crystal, but the sparkling light you do
see is caused by reflection from many inner surfaces of the crystal.
Many minerals found in the outdoors are crystals, too. Quartz, mica, gold,
silver, and graphite are some of these. If you are hiking in the woods and find
a shiny stone embedded in a duller one, then you’ve probably discovered quartz.
If the shiny stone peels in layers, then you’ve found mica. Take a good look at
all the crystals that you find. Examine them under a magnifying glass, and hold
them up to the light. You will have begun the exciting study of crystals.
Vinegar combined with baking soda produces carbon dioxide, a colorless, odorless
gas. This is what you breathe out when you exhale. It is also the gas that gives
soda pop its fizz. Try these experiments with distilled white vinegar.
Genie of the Bottle
a tablespoon of baking soda in a bottle. And vinegar and quickly fit a balloon
over the rim of the bottle while the mixture is fizzing. Use a balloon that has
been blown up before so that it will stretch easily. The carbon dioxide produced
will inflate the balloon.
Stir a teaspoon of soda in a glass of water. Drop in some buttons and pour in
vinegar to make the buttons bounce to the top. Bubbles of carbon dioxide that
have formed are lighter than water and these bubbles lift the buttons. They will
bounce up and down for quite a while. Add more vinegar when they slow down.
Boiling Water with Ice
show that the boiling point of a liquid depends on the atmospheric pressure. try
this experiment. Use a heatproof glass container (like a Pyrex coffee maker)
with a stopper Boil a half inch of water and when some of the steam has escaped,
stopper the container and turn it upside down. Now put an ice cube on top of the
inverted container. Presto! The water begins boiling again. Why? Because the
cold of the ice cube has lowered the air pressure by condensing the water vapor
left in the container. As the air pressure is reduced, the boiling point of the
still hot water drops and the water boils.
make a geyser, fill a shallow pan nearly full of water. Put an inverted glass
funnel in the water, with a nail under one side to raise it. Heat the water. As
the steam is generated, air bubbles force water out of the neck because the
water pressure becomes higher than the atmospheric pressure.
two matching drinking glasses. Light a candle in the bottom glass and place it
over a piece of thick, damp paper. Put the other glass on top. When the candle
flame goes out for the lack of oxygen, the glasses will be “welded” together.
The heat from the candle drives out enough air so that atmospheric pressure
holds the glasses together.
Tent Flattening Trick: Fold a 5” x 8”
piece of paper into a pup tent shape and place it on a table. Now blow through
the tent. Does it blow away? No? Why not? The moving air stream through the tent
brings down the air pressure. The greater pressure above the tent pushes it down
and prevents any horizontal movement.
Swinging Ping-Pong Ball
ping-pong ball, Adhesive tape,
foot of thread or string, Faucet
the string to the ping-pong ball with tape. Turn on the water to form a steady
stream. While holding the string, flip the ball into the water from a few inches
away. Not only will the ball stay with the string at an angle, but you can draw
the ball up the stream almost to the faucet.
What happens: The water, streaming around
one side of the ball, exerts less pressure than the air which surrounds the
other side. Even though you can feel the resistance of the water as you draw the
ball upward, the air pressure is still stronger, as the experiment proves.
straws, Pop bottle, Clay
When you drink something with a straw, do you suck up the liquid? No! To prove
this, fill a pop bottle with water, put a straw into the bottle, the seal the
top of the bottle with clay. Taking care that the straw is not bent or crimped.
Then let one of the boys try to suck the water out of the bottle. They can’t do
Remove the clay and have the boy put one straw into the bottle of water and the
other on the outside. Again, he’ll have no luck in sucking the water out of the
What happens: In the first experiment, the
air pressure inside the straw is reduced, so that the air outside the straw
forces the liquid up the straw. In the second experiment, the second straw
equalizes the air pressure in your mouth.
Air Cannon Hockey: This game will
demonstrate air pressure. Use round cardboard oatmeal boxes. Cut a hole the size
of a penny in the tops. Fasten the lid back to the box tightly. Use a table for
the field, with a goal at either end. Have a boy sit at each end of the “field”
with a cannon (box) and put a ping-pong ball in the middle of the table. By
tapping the back of the box and aiming it at the ball, try to score by putting
the ball through your opponent’s goal. The Webelos leader can demonstrate the
effectiveness of his oatmeal box cannon by using it to put out a candle. Fill
cannon with smoke, then aim at candle, tap back of box, and flame will be put
out. These cannons are effective up to about six feet.
Hot Air Balloon Power: Divide Cub Scouts
into two or more teams. Each player is given a balloon, which he blows up and
holds by the neck until his turn. A raceway is defined for each team and a
ping-pong ball is placed at the beginning of each raceway. Team players take
turns letting air escape from their balloons, blowing the their team’s ball down
the raceway. The winner is the team that blows the ping-pong ball the furthest
down the raceway.