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How Did That (Grand) Canyon Get There?!

Wonders of Science: Can You Figure Out the Outcome?

Joseph Durocher
Average rating:4.7Number of reviews:(3)
Science concepts are everywhere around us, and explain how things work. In this series of experiments, we will uncover some of these concepts, understand them better, while having fun, and realize how appearances can be very deceptive !

Class experience

This class is taught in English.
Course Content and Learning objectives : 

Note : Each class in independent, and it is Not necessary to attend the previous lesson, in order to understand. You can join or leave at any time.

 Week of Jan 30th Topic #1. Can you break a stick with only one hand?
 Science concepts: Air pressure, inertia. 
Science applications: How do Thermometers work ? Why do we have difficulty breathing at high altitudes ? Why can’t we breathe under water ? How do fish breathe in water ? Why do we feel « down » on low-pressure days ?

 Week of Feb 6th: Topic #2. Can you put a needle through a balloon? No, really ? 
Science concepts: polymer elasticity;  cell membrane model.
Science Applications : How do Self sealing tires work ? How does the cell membrane allow certain materials to enter or leave the cell ? Why can we smell perfume from a distance ? How do viruses infect cells and reproduce ? How do we really breathe, and excrete wastes ?;

 Week of Feb 13: Topic #3: Will the bigger balloon inflate the smaller balloon?
 Science concepts:  surface tension;  LaPlace’s Law ; air pressure. 
Science applications: How do our lungs operate ? Are your lung sacs really like balloons and small grapes ? Are these small sacs all independent ? Do they inflate like a balloon ? Do they influence each other, or not ?  How does the answer help us understand aneurysms, a collapsing pulse, or Ogilvie's Syndrome ? 

Week of Feb 20th: Topic #4 Optical illusions: What do you see ?  
Science concepts: Sensory mis-perceptions;  cognition;  quantitative measurements. 
Science applications. How does visual intelligence function?  How is new learning influenced by our prior experiences and conceptions?  How does new learning involve giving up on our mis-perceptions, or mis-conceptions?

Week of Feb 27: Topic #5: Can you make the eyedropper  sink? . How?  And why?
 Science concepts: Archimedes’ principle;  Pascal’s principle;  Boyle's law;  Density ; buoyancy. 
Science applications: Why do boats float ? How do submarines, diving beetles, or fish  control their depth? How do hot air balloons go up or down? 

Week of March 6th: Topic #6: Will the raisins float or sink ?  (Note: several variations will be explained for this experiment)
Science concepts: Diffusion;  osmosis;  nucleation sites;  solubility of gases in liquids. Density;  buoyancy. 
Science applications: Henry's law: Why is it dangerous for divers to come rapidly to the surface ? Why do soda drinks fizz, or make a pop sound ?. How can we raise  sunken ships to the surface ?. Osmosis: Why do we conserve urine, with very salty food? How do our kidneys eliminate water? How do we keep diarrhea from getting worse ? How do solute solutions work in hospitals?

Week of March 13: Topic # 7: Egg-citing science ! How do fresh eggs and hard boiled eggs behave differently?
Science concepts: Inertia, moment of inertia, rotational inertia;  Energy Conversion; Lithosphere model.
Science applications: Some examples of energy conversions will be given. The nature of science is to challenge the status quo. Changing our prior conceptions is fundamental.
I have taught Junior-High for 25 years , as a Science Teacher, and am very familiar with the concepts, and this teacher-learner interactive teaching style. I have always said that the most important thing in science is to keep the students interested and motivated . The rest will follow.
Week of Jan 30th: 
One single sheet of newspaper
A piece of wood: 3 to 3 and 1/2 inches wide, 2 feet long, and 3 /16th of an inch thick.

Optional additional materials :
1) a few additional pieces of wood (same dimensions)- or at least one more
2) Some Saran Wrap (Plastic cellophane food wrap)
3) a very heavy book
4) Masking tape
5) Additional sheets of Newspaper.
6) a soda can (empty)

Week of Feb 6th:
2 or 3 -(8-9 inch) transparent balloons
2 small, white (size about 20 Litres) garbage bags
A little bit of vaseline, or cooking oil
12 inches bamboo skewers, or shish kebab stick or upholstery needles (one is enough, but several is more fun !)

Week of Feb 13th: 
- 2 pairs of 6-9 inches balloons
- A 2-3 cm long piece of tubing, that will serve to connect each pair of balloons, or a plastic plumbing connector tube (can be found at a Hardware store, plumbing section)
2 clothes pins

Week of Feb 20th:  No materials needed: Optical Illusions will be provided .

Week of Feb 27th:
A straight, glass eyedropper (can be bought at a pharmacy)
A plastic, 1 or 2 litres water bottle, WITH the cap.
2 Paper Clips (metallic ones)

Optional additional materials :
1) a regular-size straw (not the big ones)
2) 2 thumb tacks (metallic ones, sharp)
3) Additional paper clips (metallic ones)
4) Other option: ketchup bags -small (from Mc Donald's or elsewhere)

Week of March 6th:
 a tablespoon of dried raisins (or more, for more fun !)
Enough 7-Up, or Sprite, or any COLORLESS, carbonated soft drink (works with carbonated water also) , to fill a transparent plastic cup
A transparent plastic cup, or a glass

Week of March 13th: 

1 fresh egg, in its shell.
I hard-boiled egg, with the shell.

Optional Materials: 
1) 5 or 6 identical coins (ex.: 6 pennies, or 6 -25 cents, or dimes)
2) a very thin plastic ruler (short is fine)
3) A 12 inches wooden ruler, masking tape, and 2 small items that can be used as weights (on the heavy side), to attach to the ruler.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
If the students desire to complete experiments along with me, parental supervision/oversight is suggested, but not absolutely necessary, given the age group.  All supplies are safe and common household items, easy to find.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.

Meet the teacher

Average rating:4.7Number of reviews:(3)
Hi there, and welcome to my class.

My name is Joseph Durocher.

Scientist by profession (Molecular Biologist, Biochemist and Microbiologist), I have always stayed in touch with the research area.

Educator first and foremost, I have spent more... 
Group Class


1x per week
55 min

Average rating:4.7Number of reviews:(3)
Completed by 10 learners
Live video meetings
Ages 8-11
3-11 learners per class

This class is no longer offered
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