Batgirl, Robin and Supergirl, along with their other superhero friends, battled the mad scientists — their teachers — who tried to take over the school.
The Copperas Cove High School Special Education Department Mad Scientists Day had the student superheroes thwarting the efforts of their teachers who were dressed as mad scientists complete with gray hair resembling Albert Einstein, goggles, and lab coats. Students wore their favorite superhero costumes as they engaged in a variety of science activities to teach them life skills.
“A lot of the things we’re doing today are actually in the integrated physics and chemistry curriculum so that students are actually doing the grade level (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), but in a way that they’re able to see it and touch it and feel it,” said special education teacher Tina Carter who spearheads the planning of the different learning stations.
Students discovered their super ability of breathing by learning how to use the Bernoulli effect and increase the power of their breath by moving objects. They also formed their own palm pipe band and learned to control sound waves. Students pounded with the palms of their hands the ends of eight pipes of different lengths to create eight different notes including C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C notes.
Students also harnessed solar power using solar bags.
“Solar bags offer a multitude of scientific applications, beginning with how energy from the sun causes air to heat and expand, especially when amplified by the black surface of the Solar Bag,” Carter said. “From there, teachers can engage students in discussions of density, air pressure, buoyancy, convection, and more.”
Student Mary Grace Hunziker learned the process of chemical changes as she and other students created slime using polymer through the process of cross-linking long chains of molecules together.
“It was gooey when I touched it and before it was just water and powder,” said Hunziker who was surprised when the liquid turned into a solid before her eyes. “It wouldn’t come out of the cup.”
Students also discovered chemical reactions using a variety of bar soaps calculating to determine why some sank in a bowl of water and others floated. With the help of their teachers, the students concluded that there were more air pockets in the bars of soap that floated and those that sank were denser. The theory was proven when the bar of Dove soap was put into the microwave and cooked for less than 30 seconds. It foamed up to look like shaving cream but disintegrated into powder upon being touched.
“I think science is cool and it’s fun and we learn a lot,” Hunziker said. “I think our teachers are cool, too.”