Yesterday we had another great BSEC meeting -- our third good one in a row! :) We had gotten stuck in a bit of a rut with endless Egg Drop delays, but the payoff was good, and now we're on a roll. ;)
This time, we started off by playing around a bit with Peter's mini-helicopter, a simple styrofoam disc with a remote-controlled propeller facing down. Pull the trigger on the remote, it rises. Pull more, it rises more. Let go a bit, it drops. No steering, but very very fun. It also works as a top if it lands upside-down.
Then the camera and ethanol arrived. We went outside and attempted to burn some flour, but had no luck. Too much wind? Maybe. We doused a brownie in ethanol, though, and burned it in the tin popcorn can. At first we didn't think it was burning, but it was -- boiling, bubbling and blackening, in fact. Only, we couldn't see the flame. Hm. Peter soon discovered, though, that if you drip ethanol on the brownie, you can see a brief flash of flame.
We went back into the Physics room, turned out the lights, closed the doors, and pulled down the shades. We repeated last meetings' successful formula -- Mr. Clippenger hold the flour in his hand, Peter blowing it over ethanol-fueled burning paper. Only, this time, Peter decided to surprise us -- ESPECIALLY Mr. Clip and Vivek, who was filming in the line of fire -- with a much bigger-than-usual bang. We could actually feel the heat; the light was amazing. MUCH better than last meetings' puny poofs. We did it a few more times; we discovered that Peter could blow a bit, then blow a lot through the mini-fireball and get a nice big fireball stretching out toward Vivek. :)
I'd say our boom was at least ten times as big as the one in the last video. What would you say, Vivek? (I know you're out there...) I think it was probably about as big as my dog. Vivek has the video, so we'll just have to see.
After that we went back outside for another brownie-burn and more playing with the hovercraft. We were quite satisfied by our triumphs, and managed to fill the Physics room with a lot of smoke... incredibly, without setting off the smoke detector. (Hmmmm..... methinks we may have faulty equipment....)
All in all, much fun. I'll report in when we figure out what we'll do next time, and with luck Vivek will get some video up here some time.