Sunday, March 27, 2011

National Science Centre 25thMarch2011

Thanks to the wonderful sharing on the Malaysian Homeschooling Network, the library at the National Science Centre was brought to my attention.

I made it a must-visit on my day out. Before stepping into the library on the 3rd floor, we were just in time to catch the Science Show in the auditorium located next to the lifts.
The first demonstation was on the amazing effects of liquid Nitrogen. Nothing is quite so attention grabbing as 'steaming' cold liquid nitrogen. The kids were expecting piping hot liquid from the gaseous mists billowing out of the beaker but when the demonstrator walked around with the beaker full of liquid Nitrogen, they were surprised by how cold the surface of the beaker felt.
We were informed that the temperature of liquid nitrogen was -196C.

The kids got a treat when they got to see what happened when a balloon and a branch of leaves were immersed into liquid nitrogen.
Second demo: Elephant Toothpaste, the demonstrator entitled it "snake experiment' Another jaw-dropping experiment. Mix acidified hydrogen peroxide with a little dishwashing liquid, 'Glo' was used. Then put in a tablespoon of potassium iodide, KI. Fai and Han eagerly volunteered to put in the KI. The moment they put in their spoonful of KI, they were asked to stand back and watch. What a thrill it must have been for them as they watched the white foam bubbles shoot out from the measuring cylinder. I shall bring along a satay stick on my next visit to test out the evolution of oxygen gas. JY touched the measuring cylinder later and remarked that the cylinder was hot to her touch. A lesson on an exothermic reaction there.
All along I had held back any instructions on Chemistry, now it is time I begin. JY, Fai and Han expressed a lot of interest. Yippeee! Chemistry lessons to the fore!

When asked for volunteers, Fai and Han rushed to the stage but when the board of nails were brought out, Fai ran back to the seat. Han, realising his brother was gone, quickly dashed back too.

They wanted nothing to do with the sharp looking nails. They were astounded that the balloon did not burst when pressed onto the board full of nails.

The boys kept on asking why. I had to explain that the pressure on the balloon was evenly distributed out onto the nails and that the balloon would only burst when added pressure was put onto the balloon.

Too bad the demonstrator did not press onto the balloon harder to show that.

JY's favourite demo. Butane gas was bubbled into a foamy solution of water and dishwashing liquid. JY's hand was submerged into the soapy solution and she took a handful of butane bubbles. The bubbles were then ignited with a lighter.

Tahdaaah! JY's hands were on fire!

She said it just felt slightly hot but the excitement was great.

The Science show is highly recommended. It made science interesting and was entertaining as well. The kids loved it and so, I really, really love it too.

We loved the library the moment we walked in.

The shelves were lined with books of the newest edition.

Books for toddlers right up to the advaced learners. Books on bugs to skeletons. JY had her nose buried in a Horrible Science paperback.

Han was stuck on a book about skeletons. Fai on nature trail markings.

RM60 for a family of 4 per year with free entrance to PSN. What a bargain!

Look at what the library had to offer. Who can resist?

Later we lazed about by their splash pool.

The kids had some fun with the Archimedes screw and JY waded near the whirpool.

We had to lunch on biscuits and water though. Food at the cafeteria was not to our liking and I would suggest bringing your own food if you are planning to spend a few hours in PSN.

We chatted on the science demonstration and from the liquid nitrogen demo, the kids were surprised that the balloon retained its original shape and texture after being removed from the liquid nitrogen.

They hypothesized what would happen if a live grasshopper was placed in it, could it be revived?

That was when I brought up cryogenics and the freezing of the human body. JY and I discussed that for a while with Fai listening in intently. Ahhhh...what a wonderfully scientific day :)

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