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Cubs @ Oxclose: Exploring the Science of Adventure

posted 31 Jan 2012, 15:41 by Jack Fletcher   [ updated 21 Aug 2013, 15:08 by Stephen Harrison ]
A cub tests for acidity
Cubs @ Oxclose flashed, banged and popped their way into their new programme by taking on the science badge. Last week brought the physical world: some weird sounds, energetic energy and some buzzing electricity. Cubs were challenged to repair circuits to make the buzzer buzz, to see if they could see sound, and, to test some household objects to see whether they were acids or alkali's. Cubs made easy work of it all, and so, this week, it was time to turn up the heat (literally) and move to chemistry, with a special, mystery scientist!
A cub tests for iron

The night began with cubs arriving at the science lab, with the guest already waiting, then, cubs hung up their coats and then put on their safety goggles, then, the fun began. The night started with making hydrogen, and, then testing for it. Cubs had to react magnesium with hydrochloric acid to produce hydrogen, and, cubs learnt how to test for it; listen out for a squeaky pop! The Bunsen Burner's were turned on and the spills lit, and the popping began, small pockets of hydrogen were forming within the cubs' test tubes.

After that rather noisy introduction, cubs then moved onto flame testing, and they had to test 7 different metals to see what they were by putting them inside a Bunsen flame and seeing which colour it burned; potassium was lilac, copper - blue, and sodium - orange. Then, to make things a little more interesting, cubs were then asked to make a sparkler out of filings of iron and some hydrochloric acid and, the materials certainly worked their magic as before anyone could say 'bang' the whole room was full of sparkles.

Cubs Testing for Methane

As the night progressed, neutralisation was next - turning an acid neutral, and then, alkali, and, then, back to an acid. This was done by a rather cool magnetic stirrer and a dash of universal indicator, so cubs could see the difference between the states. Finally, the end of the crazy night was nigh, but, there was one more trick up the scientist's sleeve - methane, and bubbles of it!

Cubs were finally challenged to light bubbles of methane to see how fast it would react, some were scared, however, after a while, the methane induced fear was over and it was back to lighting the room up with an instantaneous orange glow (see the videos for more). Next week cubs will be entertaining one and other as they take on the next challenge of the BadgeFest programme - the entertainers badge, and, you can see all of the action as the night unfolded in the photos zone.

BadgeFest is a programme in which cubs participate in a wide variety of activities, ranging from the elements of science, to a circus act, this makes a balanced and diverse programme for an equally diverse cub pack.