Monday, February 16, 2015

Challenging Tomorrow’s Scientists to Create, Compete, Collaborate (and HAVE FUN)

The challenge:
- Build the Highest Free-Standing Structure Possible
- Work as a Team
- Use 25 Raw Spaghetti Noodles and Marshmallows
- Have Fun!

Just like building a real tower, this challenge requires young scientists to consider balance, geometry, weight and strength of materials.  

Congratulations to our winning team of Andin,Eli and Mia , who constructed a tower that exceeded 60 centimeters!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Thank You Waco Fire Department for Helping Young Scientists Design and Compete

Can you design a device that will protect an egg from a 20 foot fall?
What about a 30 foot fall?
What about a 60 foot fall????  

Rapoport 4th Grade Science Club members were up for the challenge designing and competing to see whose egg would SURVIVE and whose would SPLAT!

In the classroom, students discussed basic physics of on how to design for impact.  Two primary methods were employed in their designs: (1) slow the rate of fall and (2) cushion the egg at impact.

Each student was given basic kit components then allowed to choose a few additional items to include in their own design.  Eggs were placed into each device and then........ they were put to the test!  With the help of the Waco Fire Department and one of their ladder trucks, students were able to test their device.

Eight of the designs were successful at the sixty foot height!  Wow that is REALLY Impressive!
(An object dropped from 60 feet is traveling at 62 miles per hour when it reaches the ground.) 
Students used various design strategies to slow the fall and protect the eggs ensuring they would SURVIVE and not SPLAT.

Congratulations to all of our students for some fantastic designs and thanks to the Waco Fire Department for your encouragement to some future scientists, engineers, doctors, and fire fighters!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why is a Dog's Sense of Smell So Powerful?

A dog relies on her sense of smell to interpret her world, in much the same way as people depend on their sight.   How can a dog’s sense of smell be so keen?  First, they have many more scent-detecting cells than humans.  Take a look at this comparison:

Species                                     Number of Scent Receptors
Humans                                             5 million
Dachshund                                     125 million
Fox Terrier                                     147 million
Beagle                                            225 million
German Shepherd                          225 million
Bloodhound                                   300 million

A dog's brain is also specialized for identifying scents. The percentage of the dog's brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is actually 40 times larger than that of a human! It's been estimated that dogs can identify smells somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than nasally challenged humans can.

Dogs are incredible!