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4-H News June 24, 2020

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4-H: A Healthy Livin’ Summer

   We’re on our third week of fun activities that the Tennessee 4-H is conducting daily to help 4-H’ers across the state create every day healthy habits. Over the past couple of weeks, we have had exercises such as fruit pizza and homemade energy bites, learning about sunscreen safety and harmful plants, service projects such as writing letters to soldiers and making a Father’s Day gift, and self-care activities such as homemade face masks. If you would like to check out these activities or future activities that we have available, check out the state 4-H page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Tennessee4H/.

Weekly STEM Activity

   Last week’s STEM activity involved surface tension of water. The pepper flakes are hydrophobic, which means not attracted to water, so they can’t dissolve in the water. Since water molecules like to stick together, they line up in a certain way that gives the top of the water surface tension. Since the flakes are so light and hydrophobic, the surface tension keeps them floating on top. When the soap touches the water, it breaks the surface tension – part of what makes soap a good cleaner. The soap moves into the water, changing the surface tension, no longer allowing the pepper to float on top; but since the water molecules still want to keep the surface tension going, they pull back away from the soap, and carry the pepper along with them.

This week’s STEM activity is going to show you how to make “super bubbles.” The ingredients you’ll need are liquid dish soap (preferably Joy or Dawn, and one that doesn’t say “Ultra” if you can find it), distilled water (you can use tap water, but distilled water makes the best bubbles), a clean container with a lid, glycerin or light corn syrup, and a bubble wand or straw. First, measure 6 cups of water into one container and pour 1 cup of the dish soap into the water and slowly stir it until it’s mixed in – try not to let foam or bubbles form while you’re stirring.  Second, measure 1 table spoon of glycerin OR ¼ cup of corn syrup and add it to the container and gently stir until mixed (if you did use “ultra” soap, double the amount of glycerin or corn syrup). You can use the bubble solution right away, but it’s better if you let the solution sit overnight. Dip a bubble wand or straw into the mixture, pull it out slowly, wait a few seconds, and then blow. How big of a bubble can you make? How many bubbles can you make in one breath? How long do these bubbles last compared to “normal” bubbles? Why?

“4-H To Go” Bags

   This summer while you’re running errands, make sure to stop by the Extension Office, the Collinwood Welcome Center, or the Clifton Library to pick up a 4-H To Go Bag – they’re take-home activities that 4-H’ers can do at home to have fun while we’re out of school for the summer. The current activities range from science experiments to a stress-busting stress-ball. Inside each bag is a survey – if you take home a bag, please return the survey when you get another bag and let us know what you thought of the previous kit. If you prefer to do an online survey instead, there’ll be a link to a survey you can perform online to let us know your thoughts and what you would like to see in future kits! Completion of a survey will allow you to be entered into a drawing for a prize!

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