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Last week, PCA was excited to host our Design, Invent, Visualize, Experiment (D.I.V.E.) workshop at the Upper Saint Clair Library! In this event, participants had the opportunity to explore different aspects of science through various interactive experiments. We conducted labs such as a bridge building experiment, creating a catapult, hosting a cardstock boat race, and many more.

To begin their activities, each participant was able to construct a catapult using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and a spoon. The children particularly enjoyed putting their creations to the test by launching catapults.

In the tin foil boat event, participants built their own boat designs using a square of aluminum foil. They then competed to see whose boat could carry the most coins without sinking. Through this competition, they learned about gravity, buoyancy, and surface tension while working with water and making sure their boats stayed afloat.

Another material that could be used to make boats is cardstock. In this event, the participants had to fold a paper boat out of cardstock and test them in water. They then put dish soap behind the ships, which propelled the paper creations forward.

After testing their boats, the participants used uncooked pasta noodles and marshmallows to build a bridge. The result was a fun experience playing with food and some innovative bridges as well. The attendees learned about which shapes were geometrically best for building, as well as being able to see them in real-world applications.

Next, the participants learned how to make invisible ink. They painted designs and words on paper with lemon juice. Then, they heated the paper to reveal the secret messages they had made. As the lemon juice heats up, it undergoes an oxidation reaction and darkens, revealing the hidden message. Now, they can pass notes in class without being caught!

Through these interactive exercises, we demonstrated important skills such as creating blueprint designs and introduced participants to aspects of civil and transportation engineering. Overall, the series of experiments provided a wonderful opportunity for participants to gain an understanding of design, innovation, and science. We would like to thank all the volunteers and participants who made this event possible. Stay tuned for future events!

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