First GS Meeting of 2014-2015…

…and it was great!

I have 13 girls this year – 4 Juniors and 9 Brownies. Not all of the girls were there this evening, but hopefully they will be at the next one.

We opened with a brief overview of some of the upcoming events (rock climbing, wildlife festival, and lodge camping trip) and badges (Bugs, Flowers, Home Scientist, Make It Matter).

We ended our meeting by practicing the GS Law using the strips we made at the beginning of last year. Even after an entire summer of no GS, they did a very good job getting the lines in order with only minimal help.

My Juniors also chose which membership pin they wanted (I don’t care if they match). They were evenly split between the modern sillouette and the traditional trefoil.

Home Scientist / Make It Matter

Home Scientist*This will be my second time ’round for Home Scientist (HS). I did it two years ago with the girls who are now Juniors. Several of my current Brownies have earned it, but most of them haven’t, so we’ll do it again (but with variations on the experiments).
making-it-matter-junior-badge*Make It Matter (MIM) is a retired Junior badge from my stash of old badges. Most of the steps involve polymers and/or engineering, an interesting, but fun, combination.

Activity #1: Acid-Base Artwork
I found a site that turned litmus testing into artwork.   I followed the directions on a different site for making the red cabbage indicator (I had good success with it when I’ve made litmus paper in the past). Two heads of cabbage were needed in order to make enough cabbage juice to soak 13 bandanas in. I rinsed the bandanas in hot water prior to, then stacked them in a plastic tub. I poured the cabbage juice over them and let them sit for several hours. Periodically, I would flip the stack over. I ran them in the dryer on high to help set the indicator.

For the lesson, I went over what acids and bases are, their properties, what the pH scale is, and what happens during an acid/base reaction.

For the actual experiment, the girls had two acids (vinegar and lemon juice) and two bases (baking soda solution and hair conditioner solution), a pipette, and a litmus bandana. We talked about what we thought would happen, and then dripped the acids/bases onto the bandanas. Only one liquid was available at any given time to help keep the chaos to a minimum.

*This activity counted for Step 8 of MIM.

ab dye ed

Activity #2: Gak
Given my girls’ dispositions, gak is a good fit for them. I followed the PBS recipe, with the only modification being the need to add a lot more of the borax solution than called for (keep adding until all of the liquid has been sucked up).  The girls started the process in plastic cups, but dumped the mixture out onto high-lipped paper plates once it started to congeal. From that point, they used their hands to mix instead of a popsicle stick.  The girls played with it for about 10 minutes before we had them put the gak in plastic bags, which were then removed from sight so we could move on to the final portion of our meeting.

*This activity counted for Step 5 of HS and Step 1 of MIM.



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