Friday, February 5, 2016

Week 1: February 2nd and 4th

February 2nd

Welcome Back!

We welcomed the new semester by performing some icebreaker activities and meeting the new teens and interns. It was great seeing all of the old and new faces! After the introductions we  recapped last semester's projects. We broke into our teams and presented our museum exhibit pieces to the group. Then we went over what we'll be doing over the course of the spring semester. We have a lot of exciting things in store!

After going over this semester's plan we practiced our observation and research skills. The teens and interns observed unrelated materials in a shoe box and answered small-detail oriented questions about the items. Through this game the teens leaned the importance of taking good-quality notes and paying close attention to detail. After the game the teens broke up into groups and researched why Pittsburgh has the 9th worse air quality in the nation. The teens came up with a lot of great answers including causes such as industry, geography and urbanization.

We wrapped up today's session by revealing our project teams for the semester. We're looking forward to what's in store this term! 

The teens and interns in their project groups.
The teens and interns in their project groups.

February 4th 

Today we started off with a game in the hall of sculpture.  They each randomly picked two people that they had to move to be equal distance from.  Everyone picked different people which made things complex and interesting!  The game paralleled the inter-connectivity of the climate system.

Next, we had a discussion on climate change.  We went over some background information, some causes and effects, future predictions and why there are some who deny climate change is occurring.

Then, we performed an experiment that simulated the effects of greenhouse gases.  We filled plastic bottles each with air, carbon dioxide, and moist air.  We placed the bottles under lamps and tested how the different gases contributed to the change in temperature in the bottles!

Lastly, we had a "Big Picture" discussion about the experiment.  We discussed positive and negative feedback loops and why they are important when talking about greenhouse gases.

 Justin leading a discussion on feedback loops. 


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