Carol Farr

Portland, OR

Abstract:
The Science Playground at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is introducing 3-6 year old kids to logical thinking using the Scientific Method. We let the kids watch a balloon (1) expand inside a bell jar when the air is removed and (2) return to normal size when the air is replaced. These observations create background for the science experiment. We perform the science experiment with an experimental marshmallow placed inside the bell jar and control marshmallow placed outside. The kids make a hypothesis about what will happen when the air is removed and then replaced. We perform additional science experiments with other items such as blocks and shaving cream. The kids are introduced to the words PURPOSE, PROCEDURE, HYPOTHESIS, RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS.

We would like to expand this demo with our ‘Marshmallows in Space’ proposal – to place a marshmallow in a CubeSat. At OMSI, after our current demo, we would have a simple discussion of ‘Space’. We would then let the kids make a HYPOTHESIS about what would happen if a marshmallow was put into space and then let them see the results of the Perlan flight.