Archive for February, 2014

Audition Collage

The Prairie Family phase following the science project phase is participating in the college musical.  We are very excited this year because the college music department chose to do Fiddler on the Roof, which is one of our favorites.  In fact, last spring we traveled to Colorado Springs to attend a community production of this show, and, boy, are we glad that we did that now!  🙂

Our adventure began with try-outs in early February, and it took awhile to get the cast chosen for the show.  We were very happy to learn the results though because everyone got great parts! Cosette and Kara got the parts of the main character’s youngest daughters, Shprintze and Bielke. They were absolutely delighted with these roles because they get to be on stage with the rest of the daughters through many scenes and have gotten to go in for special practices!  🙂  Luke is cast as one of the villagers, and Brock is Avram, the local bookshop owner.  John is going to be the Fiddler who gets to play from the stage as well as a villager.  Dan is going to have quite a few lines to learn as he is playing Lazar Wolf, the town butcher who wants to marry the oldest daughter of the main character.  He was joking that his character is a lot like who he played last year–just a Jewish version of the same feisty, boisterous man.  So, he’s going to get to play his Dad again this year (LOL!), whom he is becoming more like in real life every day anyway!

I am going to be in the pit orchestra playing the violin again.  Our music hasn’t come yet, but hopefully it will this week.  It’ll be good to get started on that; and John will need to work on that too since he is the Fiddler.

So, now we are on the hunt for costumes.  I always get stressed out about that, but it seems to come together.  This year we’ll have costume changes in the show, so that means MORE costumes….  Sigh…..  I am going to check in the college’s costume area tonight to see what we can find.  Cosette and Kara are hoping to try sewing part of their costumes (at least a skirt) in their sewing class, so that will be good for them to work on.  Then we will move on to the thrift stores which is always fun!

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John Clock Reaction Collage

John’s science project was….how should I describe it??  Complicated, but interesting!  John chose a chemistry project this year that involved the rate of reaction for the iodine clock reaction and the Briggs-Rauscher reaction.  Basically, he did these experiments varying amounts of chemicals, different temperatures, etc.  It was pretty time-consuming, but John was very diligent and kept plugging away at it until he was finished.  And he got some very good results, so that is always helpful!

So, what exactly are these reactions?  Well, they are pretty cool, I must admit.  The iodine clock reaction mixture goes from clear to purple.  We were testing how long it took for this process to occur under the various conditions.  Here is a video of a trial for that experiment (the color changes at 2:45):

The Briggs-Rauscher experiment was much more complicated to test.  This reaction changes back and forth between a yellowish and a purplish color.  We were counting how many times it oscillated under varying conditions in a three minute time period.  The problem with that is hard to explain, but sometimes it was hard to determine exactly when an oscillation occurred because it was gradual and in different phases in the cup.  Oh well, we did the best we could!  Here is the video of that reaction:

So our season of science projects has reached its conclusion–and I can’t say that I am sad!  LOL!  It’s a good thing that we have this stuff finished, though, because our next phase has already begun.  (More to come on that in the next few entries).  In the mean time, here is a video of John’s presentation and a slideshow of his work:

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Brock Tower Collage

We have survived yet another year of A Beka Academy science projects!  These projects take a lot of work, but the kids gain a lot from the whole process.

This year Brock decided to do a project that dealt with the stability of towers.  He was pretty funny about the whole thing.  When we were first beginning the projects and gathering materials he stated that John’s project needed hydrogen peroxide, iodine, a milliliter of this, a milliliter of that, etc. His materials?  “Legos, dirt, and a bouncy ball! I feel like I am in kindergarten!”

Basically, Brock was testing how much a tower of blocks would move when hit with a ball under various conditions.  The variables he tested were the height of the tower, the angle of the slope, and the types of soil surrounding the base of the tower.  He ran a multitude of trials, and then summarized his data to draw his conclusions.

Here is a video of Brock presenting his project:

This was a pretty good project, and Brock did get some interesting results.  That being said, it always a relief when we reach the end of the science project season!

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