4-H News: Refrigerator Flowers and Elephant Toothpaste

The school year is winding down, but our Dade County 4-H’ers are still busy!

The Arts & Crafts Club made adorable flowers from cupcake holders, buttons, ribbons and paint. Each 4-H’er was using the same materials but came up with very different flowers. Some chose to add a magnet to the back to make a refrigerator magnet, and some chose to add a stem for use in a vase.

Photo: Dade County 4-H Arts & Crafts Club members with the refrigerator flowers they made for spring.

The Science Club made “elephant toothpaste.” First they mixed hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap and food coloring in a bottle. Then they mixed yeast and warm water in a small cup. When the yeast mixture was poured through a funnel into the bottle of hydrogen peroxide, the resulting mixture oozed up through the bottle neck like a giant tube of toothpaste being squeezed; hence the name “elephant toothpaste.”

The hydrogen peroxide was the strong beauty shop type, so it was strong enough to burn the skin. But don’t worry! Only the dispensable Extension Educator handled the hydrogen peroxide. And additional supervision was provided by our very science-y Teen Leader Basil Nakhleh. Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2, two molecules of hydrogen and two of oxygen. The yeast basically caused one of the oxygen molecules to detach, leaving us with water (H2O), oxygen (O) and a lot of bubbles from the dish soap, a harmless mixture that looked impressive.

The Community Club members did some prep work on the Wildflower Garden that the Gardening Club will be finishing in a couple of weeks. They sanded the old wheelbarrow that will be housing the Wildflower Garden, then painted on a black base coat. Extra help and guidance for this project was given by Teen Leader Kara Wilson. At the next Gardening Club meeting, 4-H’ers will add painted scenes on the outside and soil and flowers on the inside. The finished product will be displayed outside the Ag Center.

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