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Water and Light Expand Explorit

This article appeared in the December 24, 2015 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

Water and Light Expand Explorit

Using a spectroscope to see the colors of light.

By Lisa Justice

Special to the Enterprise

 

This year Explorit Science Center is thrilled to unveil two new additions to our Science in Your World program—an activity station on Saving Water and an activity station on Light.

 

Science in Your World, Explorit’s flagship outreach program, is one of two Family Science Night events available to schools and other community groups all over Northern and Central California. A Family Science Night is when an Explorit educator brings a traveling science exhibit to your school’s multipurpose room for an hour and a half of hands-on science fun for the whole family.

 

Each Family Science Night features scores of interactive exhibits organized around different science topics. Each event can support up to 14 topics. The new Science in Your World topics of Saving Water and Light each include 5 hands-on, inquiry-based activities that let kids and families discover together.

 

The Saving Water station is a timely exploration of how we use water, where our water comes from and how we can efficiently save water to help mitigate drought. Discover how much water is on Earth with the mini globe. Spin the globe, then stop it by placing all 10 fingers on it at once.

 

How many of those fingers landed on water—an ocean, or maybe a lake or large river? Count them, then repeat the activity 9 more times. A worksheet will help you keep track of how many times your fingers hit water.

 

But even though the Earth’s surface is covered with so much water, very little of it is available to drink. Investigate how much is unusable because it’s in a salty ocean or frozen in polar ice caps by measuring representative amounts in graduated cylinders.

 

Or explore how pollutants and chemicals can find their way into our limited supply of drinkable water, and what we can do about it. Saving Water will heighten awareness of this most precious resource.

 

The all-new Light unit will allow participants to investigate another fundamental aspect of our world. From light’s nature as a particle to its movement as a wave, there’s much to discover.

 

Use different reflective and refractive objects to try to bend or change the direction of a beam of light. Peer into a darkened box and try to count and identify the objects inside. How does light help you?

 

Or use a spectroscope to discover what color light really is, and trick your eyes with some optical illusions. How does light make the illusions work?

 

Both the Saving Water unit and the Light unit address Next Generation Science Standards for physical science. You can reserve a Science in Your World event, or any of our programs, for your school or community group at www.explorit.org/programs or by calling Explorit at 530-756-0191.

 

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Explorit’s coming events:

 

  • Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new Nano Mini Exhibition!
  • Our popular Winter Workshops return for the week of New Years. Registration is open now! Visit www.explorit.org for all the details.
  • Interested in helping out the community through board membership? Explorit is currently seeking individuals in the community to serve as members of our volunteer board. Please call or email for additional information on how to apply.
  • Interested in membership?  Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed?  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 to check or sign up! Join or renew on or before December 30 to be entered into the prize drawing.
  • Birthdays are back at Explorit!  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.

 

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Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit http://www.explorit.org, or “like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/explorit.fb/

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