Friday, July 1, 2011

Safely Explore the Dazzling World of Fireworks!

Exciting new ways of exploring science and art are exploding onto the scene this July. Fireworks provide fantastic connections to these important areas of development. The Museum is offering a Creativity Class for 7-9 year-olds that will investigate velocity, gravity, symmetry, centrifugal force, light and more; and the beginning of July is the perfect time to do it. Concentrating on the visual aspects of fireworks, rather than the truly explosive, images seen at July fourth celebrations will be fresh in all of the children’s minds.

Fireworks are great introductions to the principles of light and color. Students will design their own fireworks scenes on black paper using fluorescent oil pastels that appear to glow out of a night sky under UV light. Employing the scientific method (identify the question, make an observation and formulate a hypothesis, test, analyze and make a conclusion), children will experiment with forces to discover what provides the largest circular splat of colors – a water balloon hurled by hand, dropped off a balcony or launched with a slingshot. Watercolors dripped in front of a fan will spatter on paper, suggesting how wind would affect the outcome of the children’s art. Paint whirling through salad spinners brings centrifugal force into the art process.

These are just a few of the spectacular experiments planned for this group of 7-9 year old children. Check back in two weeks to see how creativity exploded in this scientific exploration of fireworks!!

Submitted by Amelia Blake, Programs Intern and Marcia MacRae, Interdisciplinary Arts Specialist

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