Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Junior Girl Scout Making It Matter Badge

Annabeth has been working on this badge for a while now --back in January we made polymers and looked at ball bearings (activities 1, 2, and 4), we used one of our Snap Circuit sets to make various door chimes and alarms (activity 3).

Today we worked on activity 8, Base-ic Facts.

We chopped up red cabbage

and poured boiling water over it, then let it cool for 10-15 minutes.

We then used the water as a pH indicator. It turned blue with a base (baking soda in water)

and red with an acid (vinegar).

Then we tried mixing the 2

and once it stopped fizzing we got it back to its original purple.

Although after it sat for awhile it turned blue again.

We were having so much fun we started rummaging around the house for other stuff we could test.

Left to right: Windex, baking soda, fingernail polish remover (almost the exact color of the control cup above it), vinegar, Zevia lemon-lime soda.

So. Much. Fun. I was a little nervous about pulling out the Big Guns of cleaners, like ammonia and bleach. But guess what -- when I picked up Thalia after her classes this afternoon I asked her, "so what did you do today?"

"Chopped up red cabbage, and used it to test pH of various stuff, like toilet bowl cleaner, ammonia, lemonade ...."

Then, to finish up the badge, Annabeth took a look at CAD (activity #10). Since she's currently interested in architecture, we looked at YouTube videos showing how CAD is used in architecture, interior design, and landscaping. We found dozens of tutorials and adverts for various CAD programs -- it's a goldmine of examples.

And another science badge done. Just in time, too, since GSUSA is retiring all of the science badges over the next several months. I'm hoping they're replacing them with something awesomely cool made in conjunction with, say, Society of Women Engineers, featuring even more hands-on projects like we've been enjoying. Realistically, though, I expect to see a bunch of insipid "imagine a world made only of girls" (a phrase to that effect is in one of the new Journeys, prompting Thalia to rather acidly ask, "wouldn't that world die out in about a generation?" -- yep, science at its finest, GSUSA!) Not to imply that GSUSA is making a mistake by getting rid of the cool parts of the scouting program and instead filling it with twaddle and drivel the kids make fun of, but, um, well ... ahem, I'm just glad we get a chance to work on this stuff while we can still have fun while earning badges.

EDITED TO ADD: Okay, I was just looking at the list of discontinued badges, and this one isn't listed after all. Several (most?) of the science badges are being discontinued, but this one has made the cut. For now.


Bridgett said...

Ok, that rocks. I'm going to have to do that before it's gone, too.

I think I'll wind up slightly "off the reservation" when they change things to be mostly Journeys pablum. I feel bad for my daisy troop but my juniors are cynics like me about it all.

Last night at our district meeting they showed a nice marketing film by GSUSA: good images, great music, nice intent and words on the screen. And I thought to myself, "if only they had the content to back this up, it would be perfect."

Freakmom said...

I think GSUSA is all smoking dope. That's the only explanation I can think of. ;) I am looking forward to seeing the new badge books in the fall. But some of the ones they are cutting...it is just nuts. The science ones were Violet's favorites.

km said...

I had remembered this post because of the experiment and came back today to make a shopping list so I can do this with my kids. Thanks for the pictures.

I did see for the first time the architecture references. Just thought I'd mention my favorite college textbook. I found you can get this book for as little as $0.99. http://www.alibris.com/search/books/qwork/402687/used/Architecture%3A%20Form,%20Space,%20%26%20Order I've even pulled this book out when teaching my kids to help them look at buildings.