June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Greasy, grimy science

Allison Wood | The Gazette

LAFAYETTE TWP. — Along with learning basic chemistry concepts, a group of young Medina students got a little slimy.

As part of the College for Kids Mad Science Club, about 20 children ages 6 to 10 spent Tuesday afternoon doing hands-on science experiments, which included making slime, at the Medina County University Center.

“Look at mine!” exclaimed 9-year-old Melina Barlow of Medina as she tried to pull her stirring stick away from the cup used to mix her green slime.

ABOVE: Garrett Culp, 7, of Medina, gets a kick out of an experiment Tuesday at the Medina County University Center in Lafayette Township. BELOW: Carmen Copeland, of East Canton, does an experiment for a group of elementary-age students Tuesday as “mad scientist Professor Carmino.” Copeland put on the College for Kids Mad Science Club program for about 20 children. (Shirley Ware | Staff Photographer)

Green was the color of choice for most students because several said it looked like the slime poured on celebrities at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.

“I got mine green because it looks like boogers,” said Pierce Barlow, 6, Melina’s brother.

With the help of a “professor,” also known as East Canton resident Carmen Copeland, the students conducted several experiments, all of which used common household items and chemicals.

One experiment included placing dirty pennies in a beaker of dishwashing liquid and a beaker of vinegar. Only the pennies in the vinegar got clean.

“The dishwashing liquid isn’t strong enough,” Copeland said.

As quickly as the students “cleaned” the pennies, they got dirty again after Copeland placed few drops of hydrogen peroxide on each one.

“That one looks gross, it’s all black,” Melina said.

In another experiment, the students filled a balloon with baking soda and placed it over the opening of a plastic flask that contained vinegar. When the student lifted up the balloon, it started to inflate as the baking soda fell into the vinegar.

“Mixing chemicals can cause a reaction and make a gas,” Copeland said.

Although the day ended with students wiping slime off their hands, Tuesday’s session was the first in a three-day event. Students also are scheduled to learn today and Thursday about laboratory techniques and equipment along with seeing how adhesives like Velcro work, he said.

Interested children ages 6 to 10 can sign up for a second three-day session, which will start April 18 and continue for the next two Saturdays between 10 a.m. and noon, said event coordinator Pat Faulhaber of the University Center,

Registration is $98 for each student, who will receive a gift bag full of items that can be used to conduct experiments, she said. The second session will offer different activities, but also will feature several hands-on experiments.

The deadline to register is Monday and those interested can call the University Center at (330) 721-2210.

Contact Allison Wood at (330) 721-4050 or allisonwood@ohio.net.