South Metropolitan Scouts
1 Carrington Avenue
Hurstville. NSW. 2220
Tel: 02 9570 4525
Fax: 02 9580 6286




Date:20/10/04 Sub Theme: Italy Meeting Type: Basic Leader: Terri



Methods of Learning

Activity Description

Equipment required




Opening Parade




Marker Magic

Casting the Spell

  1. Cut a circle out of the coffee filter.
  2. Draw a line about an inch above the bottom across the circle.
  3. Fill the mug with a 1/4 inch of water.
  4. Curl the circle and place it inside the mug.  Make sure the bottom of the circle is in the water.
  5. Watch as the water flows up the paper. When it touches the black line, you will start to see different colours.
  6. Leave the paper in the water until the colours go all the way to the top edge.
  7. Try casting the spell with different markers. All black markers are not the same.

The Science Behind the Spell

  • Most black magic markers are made up of colored pigments, or dyes, and water.   The water in the ink carries the pigments up the coffee filter.  As the water dries, the pigments remain on the paper.  The pigments dissolve when the filter is dipped in water.  Some pigments move up the paper faster than others.  They travel at different rates depending on how large the pigment molecule is and how much the pigment is attracted to the paper.  Since the pigments travel at different rates, this is a way to tell which colours were used to make it.
  • This technique is called chromatography (colour-writing).  Russian botanist Mikhail Tsvet developed the technique in 1910 for separating the pigments that made up plant dyes.  It can be used to determine the ingredients in perfumes, to analyse pollutants, to separate animal proteins in blood samples, and to find drug traces in urine samples.
  • Ink gets its colour by absorbing some of the colours in white light and reflecting others.  For example, blue ink looks blue because it reflects the blue light and absorbs all of the others.  When red, green, blue and yellow inks are mixed; they absorb more light, leaving less to be reflected back.  Since there is less light to be reflected back, the resulting colour is black.



white paper coffee filter

non-permanent black marker


coffee mug



Make a Kite - Directions:

Fold a sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" paper in half to 8 1/2" x 5 1/2".

Fold again along the diagonal line A in Fig.2.

Fold back one side forming kite shape in Fig.3 and place tape firmly along fold line AB.(No stick is needed here because the fold stiffins the paper and acts like a spine.)

Place bar-b-que stick from point C to D and tape it down firmly.

Cut off 6 to 10 feet of plastic ribbon and tape it to the bottom of the kite at B.

Flip kite over onto its back and fold the front flap back and forth until it stands straight up.(Otherwise it acts like a rudder and the kite spins around in circles.)

Punch a hole in the flap at E, about 1/3 down from the top point A.

Tie one end of the string to the hole and wind the other end onto the cardboard string winder.



Power Rockets

Fill the canister about 1/3 full with water.

Add a quarter of an Alka Seltzer tab.

Quickly place the lid on the canister, make sure it's on tight and place - lid side down - on a flat surface. Stand back and watch. About 5-10 seconds later the pressure of the released carbon dioxide will blast the lid off and shoot the canister about a dozen feet high. The water splashes about somewhat so it's best done outside.
You can have the boys decorate their canisters to resemble rockets but I have found that the boys mostly look forward to the explosions and how high the rockets fly. If you really want to get elaborate, launch the rockets from inside silos made from sections of mailing tubes or pvc pipe mounted on wood boards. That way the boys can attempt to aim their rockets towards targets.

You can usually get canisters at no charge from any photo processing shop. Extra Alka Seltzer doesn't add to the height very much. Vinegar and baking soda will also work but most leaders report that it doesn't work as well as the Alka Seltzer tabs.

35 mm plastic film canisters.
Alka Seltzer tabs



Invisible Ink

1. Squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl.

2. Use the brush to write your message in lemon juice on the paper. Let the lemon juice dry.

3. Iron the message to see the writing appear.

small bowl



white paper




Closing Parade



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Cover Shot
Port Hacking Scouts at the Australian Jamboree 2007.