Activities For Children About Different Occupations

What will my child be when he/she grows up?

To tie into last month’s theme of transportation, Futurekids, a daycare in Coquitlam, will be learning about occupations and community helpers in February 2014. Just as transportation has evolved over the years, occupations have expanded to opportunities for many successful careers.

However, have you ever wondered – Is it more likely that children of Doctors will likely become Doctors?  Or, if we nurture a child towards science, that he or she will become a Doctor regardless of his or her genetic (hereditary) influence?

The educational program at Futurekids, a daycare in burnaby, allows all children the equal opportunity to discover their inner strength and build upon it.

For example: We support the thrill of challenge and discovery, and strengthen the skill of deductive reasoning and analytic thinking (a desirable trait for careers in investigation) by reading books like “The Mystery of the Missing Peanuts” and doing related experiments (See “Crack the Crime with Chemistry”).

The Detective: Activities For Children About Different Occupations

Detectives all over the world use chemistry to help them solve crimes. Try the experiments below and help detectives Ivor Clue and Laura Biding solve the mystery of the altered report.

Story | Part 1

Ivor suspects that someone has written  on his school report.

He reads: Chemistry outsandingly bad, physics incompetent

He says: But how can I prove it?

Activity # 1 | Ink Test

Here is a way to tell two inks apart. Cut a 6cm (2.5in) square from coffee filter paper or blotting paper. Write a word near the bottom of the square half with one blue felt-tip pen and half with a different one. Then try the test below.

1. Dip the bottom of the paper square into a saucer of water, keeping the writing above the water level. Wait for the water to rise to the top of the paper. Then let the square dry.

2. The chemicals in the two inks will be carried up the paper by the rising water, leaving two different patterns. This method of separating coloured chemicals is called chromatography.

Story | Part 2

Now Ivor knows his school report has been altered. But Who Did it?

He says: I suspect my old enemy Betty Badfinger, but I need more evidence. Perhaps these inky fingerprints on the edge of my report could help.

Ivor uses invisible ink to write a secret message to Laura asking her to get  a set of Betty’s fingerprints.

Activity #2 | Invisible Ink

For this “ink”, you need six laxative pills containing the chemical phenolphthalein. This chemical is an indicator which turns pink when it is mixed with alkali*, like washing soda.

1. First soak any coloured coating off the pills. Then put the pills in a bowl, add five tablespoons of hot water and stir until the pills dissolve. The solution you have made is your invisible ink.

2. Dip a blunt pencil in the ink and write your secret message on a brown envelope. Keep dipping the pencil in the ink after every letter. When the ink is dry, add a false message with a pen.

3. To read the message, mix four teaspoons of washing soda with four tablespoons of hot water to make a solution. Then dip a tissue in the solution and dab it over the envelope.

Be very careful with washing soda. Keep it away from your eyes, wash your hands when you have finished experimenting and keep the pills and soda out of the reach of small children.

Story | Part 3

Ivor delivers his secret message.

Later at Laura’s House –

Laura says: I need something with Betty’s fingerprints on it

While Betty is looking the other way, Laura grabs her empty carrier bag.

What does Laura Do Now?

Activity # 3 | Taking Fingerprints

Whenever you touch something, you leave slightly oily fingerprints behind. If these prints are on a shiny surface, like a plastic bag, they will show up when you cover them with fine powder. In this experiment, you make carbon powder and then use it to take a friend’s fingerprints.

1. Toast a piece of bread until it turns black around the edges. The heat in the toaster will make the bread change into carbon.

2. Scape the carbon off the toast into a bowl. Then crush it with the back of a spoon to make a very fine powder.

3. Ask a friend to run her fingers through her hair. Then ask her to press her fingertips on a white plastic bag.

4. Sprinkle carbon powder onto the fingerprints. Shake the excess powder off the bag and cover the prints with sticky tape.

Did you know?

Scientists help detectives to crack crimes. They use powerful microscopes to examine hairs, carpet fibres, dirt from shoes, spots of blood and even scraps of clothing left at the scene of the crime.

Story | Part 4

Laura says: Betty’s Fingerprints on the bag match the prints on your report exactly!

Ivor says: Watch out Betty BadFinger- We’ve cracked the crime and we’re after you!

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