Scouts – Science Abuse

During the brief times between terms, The scout leaders normally meet at a local watering hole to discuss the next terms program. This has a number of different things to include, such as camps, activities we know the scouts like, activities that will gain them badges and finally stuff that the leaders want to do.

Dry Ice Icre-cream
Dry Ice Icre-cream
One of our meetings this term was “Science Abuse” and this was organised because I wanted to do some cool things.

The detail and naming of the evening was left very loose to allow for all for many activities and the option that some may not occur. Our main was to burn some stuff, make some ice-cream and do somethings that the scouts would not normally do.

The activities were as follows:
1) Dry Ice Ice-cream
2) Coloured flames
3) Black snake fireworks
4) Whisk Catherine wheels

Dry ice is quite easy to get and if you cannot get riced dry ice, just get 9mm pellets and have a friendly wife/partner that would not mind you using the blender from home.

You then take double cream, condensed milk and some vanilla essence and add the dry ice powder – mix and you have ice-cream. It was sickly sweet, but the kids liked doing it.

Red flames
Red flames
Coloured flames are slightly harder and we had some good colours being seen, however in future I would dissolve some of the ingredients into the fuel first. Any search on the search engine of your choice will give you the easily accessible ingredients for each colour you may want to make.

Black snakes, seems easy from all the videos and websites you cam view, but you do need to get the mixture right (we didn’t) and also get the location/setup correct (we didn’t) – so it was a bit of a bust, I will be doing this one at home with my kids to work out the kinks.

Finally Whisk Catherine wheels. Nice and easy, first buy some metal whisks or find some in the scout stores. Then get some wire wool, I got 1 metre of wool, which I thought would be plenty for the 20 odd scouts we had – well it was no where near enough, get loads of it.

Whisk Catherine Wheels
Whisk Catherine Wheels
Stick your wire wool in the whisk, attach handle end of whisk to some rope, apply a 9volt batter (the square ones) to the wool to start the reaction and spin manically. This went really well and we will be doing it again.

All in all a good night was had by all.

In future we will do somethings differently and somethings we will improve on, but that is what scouting is all about – trial and error, having fun with the scouts and if at all possible burn some things!

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