Friday, April 5, 2013
By ABBY SLANKER
Children were treated to a little Irish magic at Poland library’s Sensational St. Patty’s Day Science event March 16. Children’s librarians Amanda Kollar and Vikki Peck had some special holiday science experiments in store for attendees.
Peck began the St. Patty’s Day science by doing an experiment with an Irish staple — the potato. Peck had three jars of water on hand, one with plain water in it, one with a little green magic in it and one with a lot of green magic in it.
As she sliced a potato, Peck dropped a piece of it in the plain water and asked the children if they thought it would float or sink. The slice sank to the bottom of the jar. She then dropped a slice of potato in the jar with a little green magic in it. The slice slowly floated to the top of the jar. Next, Peck dropped a slice of potato in the jar with a lot of green magic in it, and it quickly floated to the top, much to the amazement of the children.
“This is an experiment about density,” Peck explained. “The first jar of water had nothing in it, so the potato was denser than the water and it sank. The second jar had a little green magic and a bit of sugar in it. The sugar added density to the water, which in turn makes the potato lighter than the water, enabling it to float.
“The third jar with a lot of green magic had salt added to it, which also added density to the water and made the potato slice even lighter and made it rise quickly to the top,” Peck said.
Kollar then took her turn with the St. Patty’s Day science and asked the children if they wanted to see green snow. She then proceeded to add green water to Insta-Snow and fake snow appeared. Kollar passed it around for the children to touch it.
“The Insta-Snow is a polymer and when you add the water, it expands. Sometimes this is used in movies that require lots of snow and sometimes it is used for indoor skiing,” Kollar said.
For the final experiment, Peck brought out a jar of green vinegar and showed the children a piece of leprechaun gold. She dropped the gold into the vinegar and it instantly fizzed. When the gold was completely dissolved, Peck pulled two shamrocks from the vinegar.
“The gold was made of baking soda and it caused the vinegar to fizz and it then dissolved completely,” Peck explained.
Kollar and Peck then told the children they were going on a leprechaun hunt around the library. The children were given their first clue and were instructed to look for other clues which would take them around the library and would eventually lead them to the plush leprechaun.
To end the program, Kollar and Peck invited the children to play the coin toss game. The children were given gold coins from the leprechaun’s pot of gold and attempted to toss them into decorative St. Patrick’s Day hats while Irish music played in the background. As a gift from the Sensational St. Patty’s Day Science event, each child was given a green glow bracelet to take home.