Wednesday morning participants tweaked their Rube Goldberg devices in perpetration for the their final runs. It was the Lab Room Team vs the Idea Room team. Both teams had some success. The Lab Room Team had three successful runs, but the Idea Room team had the longest timed run. Both teams included the mandatory insertion of three simple machines.
Wednesday's topics were light and heat energy. Participants learned that heat energy always moves from areas of excess heat to areas of deficit heat energy. They also learned that heat and temperature do not mean the same thing. Temperature is a quality of heat energy and Heat is a measurement of quantity. We explored the properties of materials to find which materials are good conductors of heat energy and which are not. Armed with that information they engineered an Ice keeper container. The Margarine Relay was not even close with aluminum coming in first followed by brass and in a distant third was steel. Wood was a no show.
In the afternoon we jumped into light energy. We explored light reflection, refraction and absorption. Participants engaged in a reflection relay then using lasers and mirrors they targeted an object. They measured the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection to quantify the property of reflection. To explore refraction participants recreated broken pencil demo and Tik Liem's disappearing and reappearing penny demo. Absorption activity included using color filters and colored pieces of paper to see how lights rays are made of color wave lengths and some are reflected and some are absorbed. Participants then classified materials as transparent, translucent or opaque Participants then explored shadows and created a vocabulary to describe shadows. Then we explored light source placement and shadow lengths. This led us to understanding how shadows can tell us what time of day it is and what time of year. Docent Julie Albert demonstrated the light boxes that students will use on field trips.