Sunday, March 21, 2010

Science Sunday: leprechaun traps

So, this is a bit of an unusual thing to say is science, and I realize that.  But, I was having them defend each and every step of their trap.  Part of being a scientist is being able to defend what you’re doing and why, and I wanted to introduce this in a way that was fun for them.
I gave them the challenge of trapping a leprechaun because then you could get their gold.  I had a couple of stipulations for trapping them: it had to be a live trap (they were all set to kill the leprechauns and rob their dead bodies), but I explained that they could only get the gold if the leprechaun was alive.  I know, I’m such a kill joy.  The second was they had to do it by themselves.
Now, I had very carefully been saving some boxes and milk cartons and some other things for making these traps.  But, that’s not how they were thinking.
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First they drew up very complicated plans that I didn’t understand at all.  They were going to use Legos, and they set up a very complex battlefield wherein the Legos were surely going to win.  But, they decided that the leprechauns are best caught outside.
So, outside we went.  Batman promptly took over, and the other two assisted him with his trap.  Superman was all set to use their soccer net to catch the leprechauns by chasing them into it, but he figured out they would be able to get out of the holes, so that wasn’t going to work.
Finally they came down to bricks.  Bricks would work because they wouldn’t be able to get out, and they couldn’t move them.  Next they had to solve the problem of how to get the leprechaun into the trap.
This was solved by putting out the leprechauns favorite drink, green water (snigger away, but do you really want me to give my preschoolers whiskey?).  So, now they had figured out the leprechaun was going to climb up on top of the trap using the thread they had draped over the side.  Then they would drink the green water and then they’d fall into the trap, and they wouldn’t be able to get back out (this part I was a little weak on why, but they were very insistent on it).

Now, there is another video of Batman deciding they need to take all the grass out because we don’t want to kill the leprechauns, but I don’t want to take forever on all these posts, because I’ve given myself a one hour time limit this week.  Too much to do…..  Clean house, make a costume for me and Princess for tomorrow, clean out the car.  Way too much to do, oh and try out the surprise I have for later in the week……


Here’s the essentially finished trap:

It’s a circle of bricks with two bricks on top.  A piece of string is going over the side for the leprechaun to be able to climb up.  On top is the green water for it to drink.  They were quite sure this trap would work.  They also weren’t too clear on the whole leave the trap along, because they spent the rest of the afternoon watching the trap.  They obviously haven’t heard a watched trap is never sprung……..

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Well, the next morning we went to check, and obviously we hadn’t caught all of them because those pesky guys had turned out french toast green.  We look in there, and he was kind enough to explain he got out using the provided rope, but that the green drink tasted really good.  So, he left us chocolate coins, and the kids were happy.

Admittedly, it’s a bit of a non-traditional science experiment, but the kids loved it, and I had a lot of fun asking them “why?” for once.

Oh, and just to give you a hint.  I have a giveaway coming that will have you jumping for joy.  Or, at least it has my boys jumping.


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