Updates on SAI KIDS Foldscope Club Activities

Since our establishment last July 2016, members of the SAI KIDS Foldscope Club in the Philippines have been actively conducting a series of experiments using their Foldscopes. Below are some briefs of the experiments we have done so far:

August: Learning and Comparing Everyday Commodities

One of the main goals of the club is for the learners to have a different perspective and appreciation of the usual things they see every day.  Using the samples from earlier experiments, they observed and compared the skins of an onion and tomato. They were fascinated by the difference of the samples in terms of shape and color of the cell.

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Playing Spot the Difference Before the Experiment
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Drawing the Images of the Tomato and Onion Cells
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Comparing Tomato and Onion Skin Cells

After that, they tried to compare everyday crystals: salt and sugar.  As an introduction to the topic, the learners first had a game. With their eyes closed, they needed to identify whether the crystals are salt or sugar.  During the discussion the learners mentioned that they found out that although salt and sugar look very identical, their shapes are very different from the lens.

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Guessing Game: Salt or Sugar?
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Images of Salt and Sugar Drawn by the Kids

 

September: The Concept of Division of Labor 

 

As the children become more familiar and at ease in using the Foldscope, we now try to slowly teach some concepts which they can also incorporate in their daily lives.  For this month, we reiterated the concept and value of “Division of Labor” which could also help them work efficiently as a team.  For the first experiment, the learners observed the different parts of a Hibiscus plant – stem, leaf, and petal. Through the experiment, they realized that each part has its own role in order for the whole system to work properly.  Aside from the division of labor, they also learned about photosynthesis and pollination.  However, these topics were only discussed briefly due to limited time.

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Preparing the Samples for the Plant Experiments
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Discussing Photosynthesis and Pollination
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Leaf, Petal, and Stem Cell Images of A Hibiscus Plant

To further explain the concept of Division of Labor, the next experiment used ants as another example. During this session, the children enjoyed observing the different parts of an ant using the Foldscope. During the discussion, the children were amazed by how these insects communicate with each other using pheromones ( a chemical produced by social insects), sound, and touch. They also learned the tasks of each ant in the colony according to their age and roles. As they discussed the images they saw under the Foldscope lens, the group also discussed about the different parts of the ant and their functions. They were surprised to know that the ants don’t have lungs like humans and most animals.

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Playing the Ant Puzzle
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The Different Parts of the Ants Drawn by the Learners

To know more about SAI KIDS Foldscope Club and our activities, please visit KIDS Club website.

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