The Cincinnati section partnered with the Cincinnati Museum Center’s (CMC) Natural History and Science Museum (NHSM) to provide program on March 25th. Our demos highlighted the ACS's IYC first quarter environmental theme centered on the importance of water…its sources, purity, and sustainability. Over 860 students were expected that day. Our demos were visited by probably two-thirds of those kids along with a larger than normal crowd of families due to spring break and a very popular Cleopatra exhibit. The NHSM was also preparing to celebrate NanoDays 2011 the very next day, so we tried to include the “nano” concept in some of our demos.
Brandon Dunphy demonstrated how PuR sachets clean up dirty water for people that don’t have access to city supplies. Michele Mangels had columns set up to teach how the earth naturally filters water and why smaller, high surface area sand is better than larger, low surface area pebbles (nano!). Scott Tremain shared the concept of supersaturation/crystallization, which meshed nicely with Brandon’s PuR demo. Susan Hershberger brought a 3-sided display to share our IYC poster created by our public relations volunteer, Heidi Hsieh, as well as a map highlighting the local waters in the tri-state. Kids collected pH data on local water source samples, participating in the global IYC experiment measuring the pH of the planet. With 97 pH measurements made, the pH of the Ohio River near Sawyer Point was 7.4, the pH of the Little Miami River in Mason was 7.6 and the pH of the Great Miami River in Middletown was 7.6. The rivers on the map were viewed with special diffraction grating glasses as the map was in 3D! In the afternoon, Al Conklin and his Wilmington College students set up their “drippy faucet” demo that creates huge soap bubbles filled with carbon dioxide gas…a real crowd pleaser! Downstairs in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum lobby, Gloria Story and Victor Arredondo had kids graphing their data on how many drops of water or soap water they could fit on a penny…a really fun surface tension demo. Al Conklin took that one step further with a simple demo with 2 sieves. One had large openings and the other very small. The large opening sieve, when placed over a large beaker of water, allowed the water to empty quite easily when flipped, but it sure baffled the kids when the water wouldn’t come out of the beaker when the other sieve was placed on top and flipped over. Jackie Thomas had the kids learning about how water interacts with hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces (regular sand vs. “magic” sand). Bill Crawford arrived in the afternoon and started making elephant toothpaste, and just like the leaky faucet upstairs…his demo stole the show! As a matter of fact, Bill returned to the NHSM the very next day to provide demos for the opening of NanoDays 2011 celebrations at the CMC. Many thanks to all our friends at the CMC and NHSM, and all our demonstration volunteers! Check out the Cincinnati ACS section's website to see some photos from IYC event#1: http://www.acscincinnati.org.