Kids' corner

October 2004


Try this chalkboard science experiment The chalk experiment comes from Ms. (Margaret) Young's first grade class at Baker Demonstration School. The chalk experiment started on Dec. 19, 2002. The chalk experiment was founded by Ryan and Sidney in Ms. Young's class. One day while trying to make an apple tree, Sidney filled in an apple with red chalk. When she was finished, thinking the chalk would fall, she let go. But the chalk was stuck on the board!

She raced to tell Ms. Young. She called up all of the class, including (the teacher's assistant) Ms. (Tina) Kubicek. None of them could figure out why it stuck. Then Ms. Kubicek's dad pointed out that the chalkboard is porous-porous is teeny-tiny holes too small to be seen. The chalk dust goes in the porous surface. It starts the cohesive process-cohesive is when one thing sticks to another.

For example when you hang up a picture with tape, the tape uses cohesive power to stick to the surface. When you rub chalk on the board, the porous surface sucks it in using cohesive power. Voila! Chalk sticks to chalk. 

Our chalk experiment lasted a long time- until the school custodian cleaned the whole chalkboard by mistake. Before the custodian accidentally washed off the chalkboard on March 18, there were a bunch of chalk pieces stuck up there from Ms. Young's first- grade classes. Our oldest piece of chalk was washed off, too. It was Julian's piece. It had stayed up 15 months! It was put up on Dec. 19, 2002!

The experiment is cool. You should try it at home or at school if you have a chalkboard. Here is how you do it: 

1.  Take some chalk. Start with a small piece. (The smaller the chalk, the easier it is.)

2.  Rub the chalk slowly up and down until you have a flat edge against the chalkboard.

3.  Then, press down on the chalk.

4.  Then, gently let go of the chalk. (Sometimes it doesn't work, though. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.) John Baker, 7, Evanston

Mysterious invisible boy a good read In Things Not Seen, a boy named Bobby turns invisible and doesn't know how it happens. He can't tell anyone about it because then news people would come and keep bugging his family.

His dad is a scientist, so he checks out what Bobby used the day and night he turned invisible. He thinks something made it happen. He thinks it's the electric blanket that Bobby used.

Bobby tries to find another invisible person that turned invisible the same way. He does find another person, but you have to read the book to see what happens next.

I recommend this book for anyone who loves mystery books. Rebecca Kulik, 10, Downers Grove

The cat who was red and small There lived a cat named Magwa who was very small but wanted to be big. Magwa was red and angry about that too. All the other cats were not red. She didn't know what to do.  

Along came a zebra and said, "I'm much bigger than you" and Magwa said, "If you were in my skin, you'd be small too."

Zebra said, " If you were in my skin, you'd be big and have stripes like me."

Then Zebra walked away and said, "Hah! She should have been bigger. I didn't even hear what she said!"

Then a tiger came and said to Magwa, "That Zebra who walked by you said that he couldn't even hear you. Why don't you hop on my back and then everyone can hear you?"

Magwa said, "You have orange and I have red. No other animals have that. Can we be friends and live together?"

"Yes," said the tiger, "I don't have children. You could be my child. I will be your mother." 

They lived together and had a happy life. Later Magwa married another tiger and moved to a new cave and had cat babies of her own.

The end. Taskeen Khan, 6, Glendale Heights

Kids' corner We want to hear from kids. So, we are asking the 7-14 set to submit reviews of less than 350 words to Kids' corner. Tell us about the last great movie you saw, book you read, museum exhibit you toured. If you're feeling creative, write us a poem or a short story. We want Kids' corner to be filled with kids' thoughts, ideas and opinions. If we run your submission, we'll send you a $10 gift certificate. Please include your photo, the full title of whatever you are reviewing, your name, age and address. Be sure to include your parents' name and phone number so we can check with them. Send submissions to: Kids' corner c/o Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302. Or e-mail it to [email protected]


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