A Slimy Święta for Chaberek and SPARK Science

by Annabell Werner

Can you imagine celebrating Christmas with Slime and Elephant Toothpaste? Chaberek and SPARK Science had this opportunity last Thursday, December 14th after school.

Two Chaberek Students Experimenting. Photo by Annabell Werner.

Chaberek and ASW have been collaborating for 5 years. The ASW club meets every Thursday after school and is trying to teach children from Chaberek, a center in downtown Warsaw for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, English through fun activities.

That’s why in the last week of school before Christmas, Chaberek and the SPARK Science Club, which was created to promote STEM and scientific inquiry amongst our High school, decided to collaborate and “to celebrate the holiday in a scientific way,” said Mr. Josh.

Ms. Hansen and Sophie C. working with Chaberek kids. Photo by Annabell Werner.

Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays in Poland is all about getting together with your loved ones. But this is hard when you have a background like that of many of the Chaberek children. According to Sid M., the leader of the ASW Chaberek club, this is why the club decided to celebrate with them in order to “provide friendly support for them.”

According to Sid M., the ASW students “felt that the children would largely enjoy seeing live scientific experiments.” And, due to the science clubs’ interest to interact with the children from Chaberek, the two clubs decided to host the event together.

After arriving here at the American School of Warsaw, the students at first all gathered in Mr. Josh’s room to get some tea and further snacks and drinks, like cookies and hot chocolate, which were provided by the science club.

After getting to know each other better through a short game, the group went up to Ms. Hansen’s classroom, where further members of SPARK science were waiting for the kids with three different experiments. At first, the kids got to create their own slime in Christmas associated colors, through which they realized that two slimeballs can’t naturally stick or, as Ms. Hansen said, “polymerize,” together.

A student from Chaberek doing the Milk Magic experiment. Photo by Annabell Werner.

Later the group worked on an experiment called Milk Magic, where they used food coloring, milk, and dishwashing detergent to create amazing patterns by holding Q-tips into the mixture, allowing the color to spread.

The last experiment was called Elephant Toothpaste. Here the students mixed water, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, food coloring and sodium iodide crystals until they became a solution. With the help of only a tablespoon of sodium iodine the whole mixture will turn the high beaker into a mountain erupting with foam.

Some messy science. Photo by Annabell Werner.

According to Zofia W., a member of SPARK science, the elementary part of the science club first brainstormed some possible experiments, and later tried them out “to see if they would be suitable for the younger kids” and to later “present it to the elementary school students and encourage them to make observations and reflect on what they saw.”

According to Sid M. Chaberek “would like to host an Easter-themed meeting here at ASW.”

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