Science meets magic at Mind Lab’s Sci-Fri

Inspiring local children to be budding young scientists.

Inspiring local children to be budding young scientists.

Finn Wilson, Pearl O’Connor and Jacob Lewis successfully inflate a balloon using vinegar and baking soda. Pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
Budding young scientists at Mind Lab.

Sci-Friday — where science meets magic at The Mind Lab in Gisborne — is proving popular with local children, many of whom were inspired by Nanogirl’s show in Gisborne late last year.

Centre director Shanon O’Connor said they were trying something new this school holidays by dedicating a whole day to science, exploring chemical reactions and re-engineering magic to uncover the science behind many tricks.

“This concept wowed local and national audiences at last year’s Nanogirl shows and The Mind Lab wants to create opportunities for more local children to find the answers to their inquisitive questions,” she said.

Nanogirl is Michelle Dickinson, a nanotechnologist and science educator who toured the country last year with a show that involved stunts and blowing things up.

Budding young scientists yesterday conducted a series of experiments where they investigated the properties of different acids and alkali and the chemical reaction that occurs when an alkali and acid is combined.

They were excited to discover that when simple household items such as lemon juice, lime juice or white vinegar interact with bicarbonate of soda it creates the gas carbon dioxide (CO2).

Through trial and error they were able to inflate balloons with the resulting carbon dioxide.

Ms O’Connor said the Mind Lab’s school holiday programme had been a hive of activity every day with children between the ages of seven and 12 exploring robotics, 3D printing, animation, coding and filmmaking.

“Technology is everywhere — entwined in almost every part of our culture — and understanding how it works is becoming fundamental.

“It’s awesome to see our future innovators developing their hard skills and soft skills in a collaborative and supportive environment.”

Sci-Friday — where science meets magic at The Mind Lab in Gisborne — is proving popular with local children, many of whom were inspired by Nanogirl’s show in Gisborne late last year.

Centre director Shanon O’Connor said they were trying something new this school holidays by dedicating a whole day to science, exploring chemical reactions and re-engineering magic to uncover the science behind many tricks.

“This concept wowed local and national audiences at last year’s Nanogirl shows and The Mind Lab wants to create opportunities for more local children to find the answers to their inquisitive questions,” she said.

Nanogirl is Michelle Dickinson, a nanotechnologist and science educator who toured the country last year with a show that involved stunts and blowing things up.

Budding young scientists yesterday conducted a series of experiments where they investigated the properties of different acids and alkali and the chemical reaction that occurs when an alkali and acid is combined.

They were excited to discover that when simple household items such as lemon juice, lime juice or white vinegar interact with bicarbonate of soda it creates the gas carbon dioxide (CO2).

Through trial and error they were able to inflate balloons with the resulting carbon dioxide.

Ms O’Connor said the Mind Lab’s school holiday programme had been a hive of activity every day with children between the ages of seven and 12 exploring robotics, 3D printing, animation, coding and filmmaking.

“Technology is everywhere — entwined in almost every part of our culture — and understanding how it works is becoming fundamental.

“It’s awesome to see our future innovators developing their hard skills and soft skills in a collaborative and supportive environment.”

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