Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Emergency Preparedness

My Sparks are working on their Emergency Preparedness challenge, so we've been talking a lot about the different types of emergencies that can happen. We've talked about earthquakes, floods, fires, and ice storms.

We've talked about how to take care of pets in an emergency and what you should have at home in case of emergency. Next week, everyone is bringing a doll so we can practice first aid.

This week, though, we talked about volcanoes. Everyone knew that a volcano was a mountain with a hole in it (thank you, dinosaur cartoons), and that when volcanoes erupt, lava comes out.

This is the kind of emergency where you need to get away (like floods and fire), rather than the type where you need to be prepared but getting away isn't practical (like an ice storm or earthquake).

Volcanoes are fun to talk about because, well, they don't happen here, so it's not something we really have to worry about. (I heard a theory once that young kids like dinosaurs because they're big and scary ... and dead. Volcanoes are similar - fun to scare ourselves with, but not really a big concern in Ottawa.)

They're also fun because of the easiest science experiment ever. I put a bud vase in a pan and built a paper mache volcano around it, then filled the vase 1/4 full of baking soda. At Sparks, we passed around vinegar (so that we could all smell it), then poured it into the vase.

After it finished erupting, I did it again. And again.

And again.

They were fascinated. I only stopped when it started getting too hard to keep fingers out of the lava. Apparently, they like vinegar.

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