Rowan has a long running obsession with Cartoon Network and for almost a year now has involved the characters from his favorite shows in our lives. He has taken on the persona of Rigby, a racoon from regular show, and myself and the volunteers alternate between which characters we play. These characters come with us everywhere and we call them our team.
A few weeks ago he discovered a new show called Dexter’s Laboratory which features Dexter the science obsessed boy genius and his annoying sister Dee Dee. When he added Dexter and Dee Dee to the team this seemed the perfect time to revisit chemistry.
After setting up our own Dexter’s Lab (complete with science goggles and a NO Dee Dee Allowed poster) we began to experiment with super absorbent polymer’s.
Our first experiment involved making ‘instant snow‘ (by adding water to a super absorbent polymer) and once we had made it we covered the trampoline in it and pretended it was real (we don’t see a lot of snow in Texas). Whilst we bounced we talked about polymers.
Then it was time to learn about the scientific method – making hypotheses based on observations. To do this we placed our super absorbent polymers is water, milk and oil and hypothesized about what would happen to them. Rowan’s guess – they would grow bigger in the water than the milk and wouldn’t grow at all in the oil. And of course he was absolutely right.
And how did we celebrate? By covering the trampoline with super absorbent polymers again and in Rowan’s words ‘making them dance.’