On the 5th day of Christmas, my tutu gave to me, 5 scientists, 4 pounds of sugar, 3 lab stations, 2 second grade classes, and 1 school on the windward side…
On this sunny December 5th day, Chaminade Scientists and science undergraduate students took equipment and lab coats to Ahuimanu Elem.
The “How Sweet It Is” lab allows students to experience science by weighing sugar, measuring dissolved sugar and making a super saturated solution of sugar. Using lab equipment and techniques that real scientists use on a daily basis made the students feel like real scientists. The goal of this lesson is to make students aware of how much sugar they unknowingly consume. By reading the nutrition facts label and being more aware of what is in their drink and food will allow them make healthy choices. Drink water!!
At the end of our visit we got hugs from the students, some asked if we could come back tomorrow, and a some said “This is the best day of my entire life!”
On Dec 1st, 6th graders from Myron B Thompson Academy discovered that learning is fun and exciting when you do it in a newly renovated laboratory, using amazing equipment, and when your instructors are super cool Chaminade University science students.
During their “Gene Genius” module, students used colored beads to help them understand how DNA codes instructions for the diversity of life. They also extracted their own DNA, and were able to keep a sample of it in a small glass vial.
Their visit was capped off with a campus tour to see other classroom settings, the library and student center. While touring our research facility they were very excited and proud when they noticed that researchers used the same type of equipment they used in their lab activity.
Chaminade science undergraduates and Ho’oulu scholar recipients served as instructors and role models for their younger peers, demonstrating service and a path toward higher education.
On Nov 28 and 30, Scientist and students from Chaminade University visited 2nd graders at Aliiolani Elem.
Our “Germs On Me” module turned ordinary kids into “Germ Hunters”.
Students and teachers participated in a fun activity to see how quickly a “germ” could spread from one person to the rest of the class in just a few minutes. In their experiment, a lot of kids got “infected” by the pretend germ. They discussed what to do when you get sick, and ways to prevent the spread of germs to friends and family.
Students also performed a hand washing experiment to see the effect of washing on the amount of bacteria on a their teacher’s hand. In their experiment, hand washing removed almost all the bacteria that was originally there.
The “Germ Hunters” explored their classroom to discover the living microscopic world they live in by taking samples from their environment, culturing (growing) it on an agar dish, then observing and describing what grew. They were introduced to microbiology and had a great time using microscopes.
On Nov 14, the Lunalilo Elem school library was transformed into a sugar laboratory.
Dressed in crisp white lab coats, 2nd graders participated in a sugar-science event with their parents.
They weighed, measured, mixed, and poured sugar. They used top loading balances, vortex mixers, test tubes, graduated cylinders, and hydrometers to understand properties of solutions and to see just how much sugar they consume in their favorite drink.
They discovered a bottle of apple juice contains more sugar than a can of cola.
Read the nutrition facts label and make wise & healthy choices.
Chaminade science students shared their passion for learning with the younger generation at the Astronaut Lacy Veach Day of Discovery at Punahou School.
Ho’oulu scholars helped participants use Forensic Science techniques that they might see being used on TV or in movies. Participants made their own 10 print finger print card and learnt about finger print analysis and discovered how each finger print is unique. They also dusted and lifted latent finger prints from everyday objects to see how we leave our “prints” on everything we touch.
Environmental Studies students hosted two Ecology workshops. Participants learnt about the Ecology, Biology and Conservation of Hawaii’s Anchialine ponds. They also made a sustainable brackish habitat with ‘Opae’ula. By observing and learning from keeping their ‘Opae habitat healthy, they will continue to learn about nutrient, water, and life cycles that affect their ‘Opae.
Hokulani’s library was transformed into a microscopy research facility. Fourth graders dressed in their lab coats learned microscopy and histology techniques to help them discover a whole new world around them.
Using magnifying glasses, dissecting and compound microscopes they got to see how different scientific tools are used, and how each are useful in their own way.
They also learned how to prepare their own specimen slide and looked at it under a microscope.
They discovered that pond water contains living organisms not easily seen with their unaided eye.
On September 20th, 2nd and 3rd graders from the Myron B Thompson Academy visited Chaminade University for a campus tour and a scientific laboratory experience with research scientists.
Since it’s never too early to start thinking about college, these students toured our campus by visiting the student center, checked out the library, looked in on classrooms, met professors, and explored a research laboratory.
They also spent time in our science teaching laboratory to learn about sugar by conducting experiments. They used a scale to weigh out the amount of sugar contained in a beverage to be able to see how much sugar they consume. They discovered that dissolved sugar is not easy to see, so they used hydrometers to determine the amount of dissolved sugar in various solutions. They used scales, graduated cylinders, beakers, and stir plates to see how quickly different amounts of sugar dissolves in water. Using test tubed and a vortex mixer, they discovered that there is a limit to the amount of sugar that can be dissolved in water. They also got to spend time with real live scientists and ask us all sorts of questions.
This past August, our research staff and volunteers visited St. Mark Lutheran School in Kaneohe, HI. The 4th grade class compared the nutritional content of traditional Hawaiian foods to that of their modern diet. (IAS Modules Food chemistry and Hawaiian Traditional Knowledge)
Students took samples from their lunch and mashed it up with water using a mortar and pestle. Then they prepared several test tubes with a small amount of their liquid food sample. They used several chemical tests that produced a color change to detect if their food contained starch, sugar, protein and fat. For example fats will stain bright red, if there is no sugar it will turn blue, it there is sugar it will turn orange.
Traditional Hawaiian food items were also tested in the same way. The students made comparisons and determined the traditional food items were a lot healthier.
"I Am A Scientist STEM" is a mobile outreach program that shares our labs beyond the Chaminade University campus. Our services are FREE to Hawaii DOE schools. IAS STEM is part of a broader initiative by the Division of Natural Sciences & Mathematics at Chaminade University to encourage science awareness and education in Hawaii's public schools.