Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Week 10 Thursday, February 10th: Radioactive Decay, Hillman Hall of Minerals, and the Benedum Hall of Geology

On Thursday the teens conducted many activities. These activities included an activity on radioactive decay, a scavenger hunt in the Hillman Hall of Mineral, an examination of the Benedum Hall of Geology and a breakdown of science jargon. 

An intern giving a lesson on Radioactive decay of Uranium and Lead. The goal of the lesson was to introduce the teens to the idea that lead is a naturally occurring substance.
The groups were split up some going into the museum and others staying in the classroom. In the classrooom the radioactive decay lesson was being giving. Teens were giving three eggs to be different isotopes, each egg had a different number of neutrons but were the same element. They then weighed these eggs to see that in fact they were different weights. Next a mystery set of eggs, isotopes, were giving to the teens. They weighed these and found the proportion between the different isotopes. Using this ration and a chart giving out by our Grad Student allowed the teens to determine what the source of their lead was.

Pb210 and Pb206 used to demonstrate the concept of half-life. Over a certain interval of time half of the parent material would be turned over into the daughter material. In this case Lead 210 to Lead 206.
While in the museum the groups were further split into their teams, Cream, Peaches, Flaming Wolves, and the Swizzle DIzzle Penguins. In their individual teams they went on a scavenger hunt in the Hillman Hall of Minerals. The goal was to find as many elements as they could in ten minutes. The winning team had found 18 different elements. 
The Peaches right before the scavenger hunt.
While one team was doing the scavenger hunt the other followed Michele into the Benedum Hall of Geology to examine the exhibit and learn more about half lives. This is valuable information to have while developing our exhibits further. 

One mineral with six different elements in it. A very valuable contribution to the scavenger hunt.
Afterwards the teams reconvened in the classroom for a final activity. Rob gave a sample of a scientific paper that was heavily worded. The teens then went sentence by sentence to break it down into understandable english. While developing the E-Net exhibit we will have to keep this in mind so that all of our audience can understand the information being presented. This includes teens and small children all the way up to the elderly and included all educational backgrounds. Effective communication is key to many aspects of life and understanding your audience is key to effective communication.

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