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WEBELOS &

ARROW OF LIGHT DEN

WELCOME TO THE WEBELOS AND ARROW OF LIGHT DEN

Welcome to the Webelos and Arrow of LightDen! While each rank in Cub Scouting is referred to as a "den" as a group of people, a "den" is also a place that animals can retreat to and call home. This is your den for the HomeScouting Adventure Club for Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts! 

Webelos are boys and girls in the fourth grade in fall of 2020, OR are joining Cub Scouting in the fifth grade.  Arrow of Light Scouts are boys and girls in their second year of the Webelos program, typically in fifth grade.

When you're ready, get started on your first HomeScouting Adventure!

SEPTEMBER ADVENTURE:

ADVENTURES IN SCIENCE

ELECTIVE ADVENTURE - FOR BOTH WEBELOS AND ARROW OF LIGHT SCOUTS

Science is all about asking questions like “What is it?” “How does it work?” and “How did it come to be that way?” In Adventures in Science, you will discover how scientists answer those questions and what we can learn as we try to answer our own questions. Best of all, you’ll get to do what real scientists do: design and perform experiments. Along the way, you’ll learn about physics, chemistry, astronomy, plant science, and more. So grab your notebook, and let’s get started!

Make sure to download the connected worksheet for this month's adventure!

FAIR TEST EXPERIMENT

*required for adventure*

Requirement 1: An experiment is a “fair test” to compare possible explanations. Draw a picture of a fair test that shows what you need to do to test a fertilizer’s effects on plant growth.

Scientists try to create a fair test when they want to answer a question. The steps below can help you answer questions just like a scientist would!

  1. Ask a question. What do you want to discover?

  2. Do research. What have other scientists already learned?

  3. Make a good guess answer. This guess is called a hypothesis.

  4. Test your hypothesis with an experiment. This is the fun part!

  5. Decide whether your hypothesis was supported by the information you
    collected. 

  6. Share what you discovered. 

This process is called the Scientific Method

Imagine that you're a medical researcher who wants to test three new medicines to see which one helps people who have a cold feel better. If you gave a sick person all three medicines and she or he got well, how would you know which medicine worked? You wouldn't!

But what if you started with three sick people and gave each one a different medicine? Then you would know which medicine (or medicines) worked. 

When a scientist asks a question, he or she comes up with a fair test to answer that question. This is called an experiment. An experiment is designed to rule out possible explanations and, as much as possible, test only a single explanation. 

In an experiment, scientists look at three things:

  • What they will change -- called the independent variable

  • What they will keep the same -- called the control variable, or control

  • What difference they are looking for -- called the dependent variable

In the medicine experiment, the independent variable is what medicine each person takes. The control is the fact that each person has a cold. The dependent variable is whether or not each person gets well

Watch Buckeye Council volunteer and science teacher, Ann Palaski teach us about a fair test!

MEASURING THE IMPACT OF FERTILIZER

Draw a picture of an experiment to test fertilizers. First, think about what the independent variables, controls, and dependent variables your experiment would use. 

A scientist might start by creating a chart like the one below to help figure out what the important parts of the experiment could be. One of the biggest challenges in creating a fair test is to figure out what to keep the same, what to change, and how to find out if a meaningful result occurs. 

What would you add to the list of controls? What are some other ways to see whether the fertilizer made a difference? Measuring how tall the plant grows might not be the only dependent variable you could test for. 

Draw a picture of your own fair test to compare fertilizers and label your drawing with all the variables that you would want to keep track of in your experiment. TIP: draw this like a comic strip to show the steps in your test and the changes over time. 

VISIT A PLACE THAT EMPLOYS SCIENTISTS

*required for
adventure*

Requirement 2: Visit a museum, a college, a laboratory, an observatory, a zoo, an aquarium, or other facility that employs scientists. Prepare three questions ahead of time, and talk to a scientist about his or her work.

 

Scientists work in many different places. When you visit a scientist in one of

those places, you can better understand what he or she does and the tools

he or she uses every day. Just like you plan your investigations, you should

plan your visit to a scientist. What would you like to learn? Write down your

questions in your field notebook ahead of time. Before your visit, try to guess

how the scientist might answer your questions. Afterward, see how his or her

answers compare with your guesses.

Watch our Robotics Webinar with NASA Engineer Tim Jace from

Cyber Summer Camp  for this requirement

About Tim

Tim Jace is an engineer for NASA. Tim and his team work specifically on the Commercial Crew Program which is a partnership to develop and fly human space transportation systems. Sound familiar? The Commerical Crew Program in partnership with SpaceX launched U.S. astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time on May 27, 2020! Check out the photos of Marc on launch day with his mission patch!

Watch the launch and explore the pre-camp mission if you haven't already here

CARRY OUT ANY FOUR EXPERIMENTS

*required for adventure*

Requirement 3: Complete any four of the following experiments:

 

  • Carry out the experiment you designed for Requirement 1.

  • If you completed 3A, carry out the experiment again but change the independent variable. Report what you learned about how changing the variable affected plant growth.

  • Build a model solar system. Chart the distances between the planets so that the model is to scale. Use what you learned from this requirement to explain the value of making a model in science.

  • With adult supervision, build and launch a model rocket. Use the rocket to design a fair test to answer a question about force or motion.

  • Create two circuits of three light bulbs and a battery. Construct one as a series circuit and the other as a parallel circuit.

  • Study the night sky. Sketch the appearance of the North Star (Polaris) and the Big Dipper (part of the Ursa Major constellation) over at least six hours (which may be spread over several nights). Describe what you observed, and explain the meaning of your observations.

  • With adult assistance, explore safe chemical reactions with household materials. Using two substances, observe what happens when the amounts of the reactants are increased.

  • Explore properties of motion on a playground. How does the weight of a person affect how fast they slide down a slide or how fast a swing moves? Design a fair test to answer one of those questions.

  • Read a biography of a scientist. Tell your den leader or the other members of your den what the scientist is famous for and why his or her work is important

Requirement 3a: Carry out the experiment you designed for requirement 1, above.

 

An important part of designing a fair test is deciding ahead of time what you expect the result to be. For your fair test, that means making a prediction about how the fertilizer will influence the way the plant grows. Write your prediction on your connected worksheet, and then carry out the experiment.

 

After the experiment ends, compare your prediction with what you actually observed. Did the plant grow as tall as you predicted? Did the plants grow in ways that you were not able to predict? How can you explain this result? Draw a picture of what happened, and make note about what you would like to do to learn more.

Requirement 3b: Carry out the experiment you designed for requirement 1, but change the independent variable. Report what you learned about the effect of changing the variable on the plants that you grew.

There are lots of different ways to carry out an investigation using the same materials and variables. Here are some other independent variables you could test in the plant experiment:

  • Potting soil vs. sand

  • Six hours of light per day vs. 24 hours of light per day

  • Colored light vs. white light

  • Fresh water vs. salty water

  • 100 ml of water per day vs. 1,000 ml of water per day

 

Design another fair test and write down what you predict will happen. Remember to use only one independent variable in your experiment.

Now, carry out the new experiment. What did you find out? Did the result match your prediction? If not, how was it different? Draw a picture of what happened, and make a note in your field notebook about what you would like to do to learn more.

The more you carry out experiments like this, the more you will learn about the subject you are studying. For example, over time you might learn that a combination of factors—say, fertilizer plus plenty of sunlight—helps plants grow better than fertilizer alone. Or you might learn that a certain fertilizer works better on flowers than on vegetables. Scientists also like to repeat the same experiments over and over. They even publish the details of their experiments so other scientists can reproduce them. Getting the same results many times proves that the results are accurate and not caused by some random event, like worms in the soil affecting plant growth.

 

Requirement 3c: Build a model solar system. Chart the distances between the planets so that the model is to scale. Use what you learn from this requirement to explain the value of making a model in science.

Our solar system is really, really big. It takes Earth one year to travel around the sun, but it takes Neptune, which is way out at the edge of the solar system, 165 years! Light travels at a speed of 186,282 miles every second, but it takes light from the sun approximately eight minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth which is 93 million miles away. Yes, the solar system is huge!

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Your challenge is to build a model solar system that has the same scale as the actual solar system. In other words, the relative distances between the planets in your model will be the same as they are between the real planets.

In your backyard build a scale model of the solar system using basketballs, baseballs, soccer balls, etc. Challenge your family members to see who can race from planet to planet in the fastest time.

 

This chart shows each planet’s approximate distance from the sun, along with scale distances. It also shows Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the sun.

solar system scale.PNG

To get started, make a series of signs, one for the sun and one for each planet. Label the signs and add pictures if you want to. Write on the planet signs how far away from the sun each one is. Now, decide whether you will use inches or centimeters in your model. An inch is more than twice as long as a centimeter, so the scale model in inches would be larger than the scale model in centimeters.

 

Will the sun and all of the planets fit in your home if you make the model in inches? What if you make it in centimeters? Get out a ruler and test your prediction. Unless you live in an aircraft hangar, the model organized in inches won’t fit in your home. The distance from the sun to Neptune is more than 230 feet—that’s two-thirds of a football field! You will need to make your model solar system outside.

Use a measuring tape and an open space to lay out your model solar system. A school yard or a park would be a good spot if you have permission to build your model there. You will need a friend to help you lay out your solar system. In fact, this would be a fun project to do with your whole den.

Requirement 3d: With adult supervision, build and launch a model rocket. Use the rocket to design a fair test to answer a question about force or motion.

 

Rockets are lots of fun, and they are also a great tool for investigating ideas related to force and movement. As you did earlier, use the chart below to help you design a fair test to answer some questions about force and motion. Add anything else to this list that you believe is important.

Part of being a scientist is being creative. Your rocket may fly hundreds of feet into the air. How can you measure how high it flies? Talk with friends in your den or your adult partner about how to measure the rocket’s maximum height. You might want to explore some other properties of a model rocket. Can you launch a raw egg and return it—uncracked—to the earth? Can you consistently predict where the rocket will land? What other experiments could you come up with to extend your knowledge of force and motion?

BEFORE GETTING STARTED

Not all cities and towns permit model rocket launches. Check with your local fire department or police to find out about local regulars governing model rocket launches. You may have to travel to a rural area to find a launch site. You can also do create a chemical reaction rocket or a stomp rocket.

CHEMICAL REACTION ROCKET

Demonstrate Newton's third law of motion. Make a paper rocket propelled by Alka-Seltzer and water or baking soda and vingear. Guaranteed fun for the whole family.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper cut to 5x8 inches or a large index card

  • Empty film canister with lid that snaps inside

  • Markers, crayons or colored pencils

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Alka-Seltzer tablets or baking soda (baking soda to use with vinegar)

  • Water or vinegar (vinegar to use with baking soda)

  • Ruler

Instructions:

  1. Decorate the paper — get creative! This will form the body of your rocket.

  2. Roll the paper into an 8-inch-tall tube. Slide the empty film canister into the tube so that the
    canister opens at one end of the tube. Securely tape the paper to the canister. You do not
    want these two parts to separate.

  3. Now, tape closed the 8-inch-long seam of the paper tube.

  4. Cut two triangular paper fins and tape them onto the rocket.

  5. Make a small paper cone and tape it to the top of the rocket if you would like a nose cone.

  6. Hold the rocket upside down and add water to the canister to one-quarter full.

  7. Add half a tablet of Alka-Seltzer or to the film canister and quickly snap on the lid.

  8. Place the rocket on the ground, lid down. Stand back and count down while you are waiting
    for launch.

Watch Meteorologist Kelly Dobeck with Cleveland 19 News show us how to make an alka seltzer rocket!

 

BUILDING AND LAUNCHING A MODEL ROCKET

Model rocketry is a great way to learn about space exploration. The rocket you build won’t reach space, but the science and technology that goes into your rocket is the same as NASA uses in launching giant rockets. Model rockets are made of paper, balsa wood, plastic, glue, and paint. You build them with simple tools such as a modeling knife, sandpaper, scissors, rulers, and paintbrushes. Model rockets are powered by solid propellant rocket engines. Depending on the size and design of the rocket and the power of the engine, model rockets may fly only 50 feet high or up to a half mile in altitude. They are powerful, and through misuse could harm animals, people, or property. By following the rules below, you can launch your rockets in complete safety over and over.

BUILDING YOUR OWN ROCKET

If you have never built a model rocket before, it is best to start with a simple kit. The kit will consist of a body tube, nose cone, fins, engine mount, and parachute or some other recovery system that will gently lower your rocket to the ground at the end of its flight. Engines must be purchased separately from the rocket. Be sure to buy the recommended engines for your kit. If you use engines that are too powerful, you may lose your rocket on its first flight.

STABILITY-CHECKING YOUR ROCKET

Check every rocket for stability before flying it. Stability checks before launch assure you that your rocket will fly properly. Unstable rockets tumble in the air and may head back toward the launchpad at high speed. Stability checks are simple and require only a long piece of string, a piece of tape, and a few minutes of your time. To check a new model rocket, prepare the rocket for flight and insert a live engine. Tie a slipknot around the body of the rocket and slide it to the point where the rocket is perfectly balanced on the string. Hold the string in one hand over your head, and begin to twirl your rocket as though you were spinning a lasso. As the rocket picks up speed, gradually play out the string until the rocket is about 6 to 8 feet away. If you are not tall, you may want to stand on a chair at this point. If your rocket is stable, it will travel around you without tumbling. The nose cone will point into the air and the tail end will follow. If the tail end goes first or if the rocket tumbles, your rocket may be dangerous to fly. You can correct this situation by putting on larger fins or adding weight to the rocket’s nose with a lump of clay.

LAUNCHING YOUR ROCKET

When your rocket is ready for its first flight, you must choose a proper launching site. Your launching site should be a large field that is free of power and telephone lines, trees, buildings, or any other structures that might snag a returning rocket. Choose a field away from airports. You will need a launchpad. Perhaps you can borrow a launchpad from a local model-rocket club, or join the members on a day when they are launching rockets (To find a local club, see the National Association of Rocketry listing in the resources section.) If not, you can either buy a launchpad kit or build your own. A simple launchpad can be built from a block of wood, a blast deflector made from a flattened metal can, and a straight rod. Rods made specifically for rocket launchers are best and inexpensive. Buy one where you get your rocket supplies.

INSTRUCTIONS TO BUILD

While your model rocket will come with instructions, follow these instructions for a safe launch. Not all cities and towns permit model rocket launches. Check with your local fire department or police to find out about local regulations governing model rocket launches. You may have to travel to a rural area to find a launch site. Or you may choose to make an alternative rocket. 

 

Your launch system should be electric. It must have a switch that closes only when you press it and then opens again automatically. It also should have a master switch, or you should be able to disconnect the batteries while you set up your next flight. The wires from your batteries (about 6 volts) should extend about 15 feet to small “alligator” clips at the ends. These clips will be attached to the wires of the igniter. Never use fuses or matches to ignite your rocket .

 

ACCOMPLISHING A LAUNCH OBJECTIVE

After you have made your first launch, make a second launch with a specific objective in mind. You might try to spot-land the rocket within a 50-foot circle. That isn’t as easy as it sounds. You must make allowances for wind drift and aim your rocket accordingly.

Another objective might be to carry a payload aloft and recover it safely. Several rocket kits come with payload sections for carrying hard-boiled eggs or other cargo. Still another objective would be to launch a small camera on your rocket to take a picture of the launch site from high altitude. Specially designed cameras are available for model rockets.

Learn how to build an Estes Gnome Rocket with Scoutmaster Robbie White from Billings, Montana!

Requirement 3e: Create two circuits of three light bulbs and a battery. Construct one as a series circuit and the other as a parallel circuit.

 

How long does a battery last? If you’ve been on a campout and had a flashlight that didn’t light up, you know that battery life can be a big problem. In this investigation, you will explore possible connections between the way an electrical circuit is put together and how long a battery will last. An electrical circuit is like a big circle. The electricity comes out of the power source (the battery in this case), goes through the output device (the bulbs in this case), and cycles back to the power source. If you break the circuit, the electricity stops flowing.

When you have more than one output device, you can create two types of circuits: series and parallel. In a series circuit, the electricity goes through each of the output devices in turn. In a parallel circuit, the electricity follows separate paths through each output device. The pictures on this page show the difference. Here is a chart of possible variables and controls. Add anything else to this list that you believe is important.

To carry out this investigation, you will need:

  • Flashlight bulbs

  • Wire

  • Several batteries

  • Watch to time the life of the battery

  • Bulb and battery bases

 

Set up one series circuit and one parallel circuit using a battery and three bulbs. You can find bases for bulbs and batteries at some hardware and technology stores; your science teacher may also have some materials that you can borrow. The bases are handy to use, but you can simply fasten the wires to the batteries and bulbs with electrical or duct tape.

After your investigation, think about these questions:

  • In which circuit did the battery last longer?

  • Is there a connection between the type of circuit and how long the battery works?

  • What other differences do you observe?

  • Is there a connection between the brightness of the bulbs and the way the circuit is hooked up?

  • What other questions can you ask about the circuits you built? 

Requirement 3f: Study the night sky. Sketch the appearance of the North Star (Polaris) and the Big Dipper (part of the Ursa Major constellation) over at least six hours. Describe what you observed and explain the meaning of your observations.

 

Making observations of the world around you is an important part of science. The things you observe help you form important questions and start to make predictions. Your predictions, whether or not they are correct, are important steps in helping you explain why things happen the way they do. The stars and constellations of the northern hemisphere can help you understand changes in the night sky.

 

For this investigation, sketch the appearance of the North Star and

the Big Dipper, which is part of the Ursa Major constellation, over

at least six hours. You will want to do this on a clear weekend night,

when you can stay up late with your family’s permission.

 

As early in the evening as possible, make a sketch of the night sky.

Draw it as precisely as you can, so that you can see which way the

“pointer stars” on the side of the Big Dipper are oriented. Return in three hours and make another sketch. Try to be precise as before, so that you can accurately record any motion that you observe.

Compare your sketches and think about these questions:

  • What are some ways to explain what you observed?

  • Which is the best explanation: that the earth is moving or that the stars are moving?

  • How long will it take for the Big Dipper to return to where it was when you first recorded it?

  • How could you use what you observed to tell time?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a “star clock” that uses a constellation?

Requirement 3g: With adult assistance, explore safe chemical reactions with household materials. Using two substances, observe what happens when the amounts of the reactants are increased.

 

Chemical changes are an important area in the science of chemistry. When some substances are combined, they create a new substance that is different from the ones you started with. Sometimes, chemical reactions create changes in color or temperature or produce gases.

BEFORE GETTING STARTED

Some chemical combinations, such as those involving household cleaners, can cause dangerous reactions. Check with a parent or guardian and consult a chemistry book before trying any experiments with household chemicals.

For this and all other chemistry experiments, you should wear eye protection.

One choice for this investigation is to combine two simple chemicals from your family’s kitchen in a zip-top bag: baking soda and vinegar. Both have chemical formulas that can be used to describe them. Baking soda is called sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3); vinegar is a weak acid called acetic acid (C2H4O2).

 

When baking soda and vinegar are combined, a chemical reaction takes place and a gas is produced. Your challenge is to see if there are any patterns in how much gas is produced when baking soda and vinegar are combined in different proportions.

MEASURING THE GAS PRODUCTION IN A CHEMICAL REACTION

Here are the factors to consider in your investigation. Add anything else to this list that you believe is important.

 

Think about these questions as you design your investigation:

  • How can you combine the baking soda and vinegar in such a way that you capture all the gas that is produced?

  • How can you accurately measure how much gas is produced?

  • How can you make sure the bag you mix the chemicals in doesn’t contain anything else that could affect the experiment?

  • Can you use what you learned to make a prediction for how much a bag will expand with different combinations of baking soda and vinegar? If so, make a prediction and see how close your prediction comes to the actual expanded size of the bag.

Requirement 3h: Explore properties of motion on a playground. How does the weight of a person affect how fast they slide down a slide or how fast a swing moves? Design a fair test to answer one of those questions.

Does a heavier person slide faster? Does a lighter person swing faster? These are questions that you can answer using playground equipment and some friends or family members who weigh different amounts. Here are some factors to consider if you choose the slide investigation. Add anything else to this list that you believe is important.

MEASURING THE EFFECT OF WEIGHT ON A SLIDE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set up an experiment where you time how fast different people go down a slide. Decide when and where to start your timer. What timer will you use? Smartphones and digital watches usually have a stopwatch function.

 

Consider these things as you plan your investigation:

  • Before you do the investigation, create a chart to write down your data. This will help you think through the project in advance and ensure you record everything you need to make a good decision.

  • Have everyone go down the slide several times and figure out an average for each person.

  • Sitting on a towel can ensure that everyone touches the slide with the same kind of fabric. (If one person wore jeans and another wore slick pants, that would affect the results.) You could also use waxed paper from your kitchen. Be careful! Have a spotter at the bottom of the slide to keep people from hitting the ground.

 

After your investigation, think about these questions: What did you learn? Did the weight of the person on the slide have a big effect on how fast he or she moved down the slide? Was there a pattern? Write down your conclusions in your field notebook. If you can think of better ways to do the experiment or if new questions come up, be sure to record them in your notebook as well. Here are some factors to consider if you choose the swing investigation. Add anything else to this list that you believe is important.

MEASURING THE EFFECT OF WEIGHT ON SWING TIME

Consider these things as you plan your investigation:

  • Before you do the investigation, create a chart to write down your data. This will help you think through the project in advance and ensure you record everything you need to make a good decision.

  • Have everyone repeat the swing several times and figure out an average for each person.

  • How do you make sure that everyone starts from the same point?

  • How can you make sure everyone swings the same way? Because you are measuring the time for a swing, it will affect your findings if a person pumps his or her legs.

  • Decide when and where to start your timer. What timer will you use? Smartphones and digital watches usually have a stopwatch function.

 

After your investigation, think about these questions: What did you learn? Did the weight of the person on the swing have a big effect on the time for a single swing? Was there a pattern?

Requirement 3I: Read a biography of a scientist. Tell your den leader or the other members of your den what the scientist is famous for and why his or her work is important.

 

Reading stories about scientists and what they have accomplished can be inspiring. It may even start you on the road to your own great scientific adventures!

SCIENTISTS YOU COULD LEARN ABOUT:

  • Albert Einstein, Physicist

  • Galileo Galilei, Astronomer

  • George Washington Carver, botanist

  • Benjamin Franklin, researcher in many fields

  • Marie Curie, physicist and chemist

  • Paul Simple, weather searcher (and Eagle Scout!)

  • Paul Agre, biologist (and Eagle Scout!)

  • E.O. Wilson, biologist (and Eagle Scout!)

  • Guion S. Bluford Jr., astronaut (and Eagle Scout!)

  • Mae C. Jemison, astronaut

  • Lee Berger, archaeologist (and Eagle Scout!)

  • Michael Manyak, expedition medicine pioneer (and Eagle Scout!)

 

 

ADVENTURES IN SCIENCE DEN ADVENTURE VIDEO  

Created by the Buckeye Council, Boy Scouts of America

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