Breaking the Play-Doh myth

Play-Doh acts as an armour — or does it? Twenty-four Grade 5 students from West Park Elementary School tested this theory in a science experiment that challenged the protection abilities of the modelling clay.



Play-Doh acts as an armour — or does it?

Twenty-four Grade 5 students from West Park Elementary School tested this theory in a science experiment that challenged the protection abilities of the modelling clay.

And in doing so, the youngsters snagged second place in a Alberta Science Happens Here MythBusters contest organized by the Science Alberta Foundation.

Science Happens Here runs a six-week program in rural Albertan communities working with colleges, local residents and businesses to highlight the use of science and careers in that area.

As part of this year’s program in Olds and Red Deer, a community and school contest open to schools and community groups (in two separate categories) was conducted.

Participants were required to develop a hypothesis and use science to determine if it is “busted, confirmed or requires more research.” A video demonstrating the experiment was required.

Of the 45 school entries, most were at the high school level.

The top three earned tickets to the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters show and a meeting with the show’s stars.

Grade 5 teacher Katie Bruinsma uses MythBusters in the classroom to partially teach the scientific method, to increase excitement and to show science can be fun.

When her students told her the MythBusters show was coming to Red Deer, she researched and found the “Bust a Myth” contest.

“The class brainstormed and they chose the myth to bust,” said Bruinsma.

“A lot of them wanted to do things like Coca-Cola and Mentos because they saw the explosion.

“One mentioned this Play-Doh video and we looked at it and as a class we decided that would be a good one to bust.”

She said the project was a good opportunity to reinforce the scientific method skills and it fit into the Grade 5 science curriculum.

“The kids were involved in all of it,” said Bruinsma.

“They designed the experiment. They chose the myth. They scripted it and acted it. And then we studied the results together. The class was in charge of everything.”

Francesa Garigue, project co-ordinator of Science Happens Here, Science Alberta Foundation, said a winning entry has both science and creativity. Scientific inquiry is about 50 per cent of the score, presentation is 30 per cent and originally is 20 per cent.

“The goal of Science Happens Here is to get the community and to get our youth talking about science,” she said.

“We want to inspire healthy curiosity about science and kinda demythify the fact that it is not always done in a lab and it is not always complicated. You don’t have to be a scientist to understand it. There’s science that happens in everyday things.”

Olds High School’s Grade 11 class took first place while the Holy Trinity Catholic School Grade 1 class in Olds placed third.

The first place entry in both divisions will have their video played at the MythBusters show.

Two MythBusters shows in Red Deer on Saturday and at the Ralph Klein Centre in Olds on Sunday have sold out.

First place honours in the community contest went to brothers Craig and Adam Holder.

Second place went to brothers Colin and Kolby Chant while Nick Ekelund, Bryan Burdick and Steven Burdick placed third.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ecologist Tony Blake was among several dozen area residents who participated in Tuesday’s public hearing on the future Molly Banister Drive extension. Blake argued for preserving trail connectedness and the wildlife corridor. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Molly Banister road extension stays

A nearly nine-hour public hearing ends with a 5-3 vote for keeping the road alignment

A server wears a mask at a restaurant, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Health officials receive thousands of COVID-related complaints

About 800 to 1,000 people call health officials weekly

Shaun Janse van Rensburg, a Red Deer resident, said he is tired of changing clocks twice a year. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
After COVID, Kenney may consider referendum on daylight savings

Albertans may be divided on several issues today, but there’s a consensus… Continue reading

The COVID-19 death toll in Alberta reached 309, according to numbers posted on the province’s website Tuesday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another 422 COVID cases reported in Alberta and two more deaths

The Alberta government reported 422 COVID-19 cases Tuesday and two more virus… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
COVID-19 death toll verges on 10,000 as second wave continues to surge

Nearly 10,000 Canadians have died due to COVID-19, a mark of the… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts celebrates after a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Wade Sira is shown in a handout photo. Sira, the leader of Saskatchewan's pro-independence Buffalo Party, says he's extremely happy with last night's provincial election results, even though no candidates clinched a seat.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Wade Sira MANDATORY CREDIT
Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Christian Coleman, of the United States, celebrates after crossing the line to win the gold medal in men's 100 meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Nick Didlick)
World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

Saskatchewan Roughriders kicker Brett Lauther returns to the sideline after missing his fourth field goal attempt during second half CFL action against the Edmonton Eskimos, in Regina, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  It's been a very difficult year for a number of kickers this year in the NFL, but CFL veteran Lauther continues to wait for his opportunity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor
Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, is congratulated by Alex Muyl after scoring a goal during the first half of the team's MLS soccer match against the Montreal Impact, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Most Read