These Brownies got stuck into science at our How Does it Work? day

Brownies and their Leaders tell us about their day of colourful scientific experiments at Activity Centre ICANDO in London

The girls really got stuck into the science activities which gave them all an opportunity to find something that interested them. From learning about acids and alkalines, to making up a play about a famous woman scientist, to exercising creative talents with felting, to the sheer joy of making explosions happen with the volcano activity - every Brownie had a really eye opening day. – Charlotte, Leader with 1st Wolvercote Brownies

How Does it Work? at ICANDO taught girls the science behind some fantastic experiments

It was a full day of messy and creative experiments that let girls look and learn for themselves. Brownies and Leaders went to the event at ICANDO which is Girlguiding’s Activity Centre based at our London Headquarters, across the road from Buckingham Palace.

Here’s just a small sample of the activities they completed - which earned them their Brownie Science Investigator badge! - as well as what the girls and Leaders thought of them.

How clean am I?

For the first activity of the day, girls put glow gel on their hands then they washed them. Glow gel can only be seen with a UV light so we switched the light off and used a UV light to see how good a job they’d done at cleaning their hands. Had the glow gel fully disappeared? Needless to say – their hands were still glowing! They then got a quick lesson in cleaning their hands properly.

We got to do the experiments ourselves and we get to test them, like seeing germs on your hands. It was very disgusting but exciting. – Philyra, 7
I wonder if we’re all washing our hands a bit more carefully after the glow in the dark handwashing test? – Charlotte, Leader with 1st Wolvercote Brownies

Blob in a bottle

For this activity, a mixture of vegetable oil, water, food colouring and Alka-Seltzer tablets made a weird and wonderful blob in a bottle.

The girls learned loads! Particularly about what mixes with water – you could tell they didn’t already know the answers. – Elaine, Leader with 3rd Merstham Brownies

Red cabbage pH indicator

After boiling the colour out of pieces of red cabbage, girls used the remaining reddish purple coloured water to test the pH level of baking soda, citric acid, vinegar and other household solutions. They added the solutions to the cabbage water to see what colour it turned. Red meant it had a pH of 2 and was an acid. Greenish yellow meant it was pH 12 and an alkali.

The girls learned so much – the cabbage activity especially introducing the idea of acid and alkaline and the pH scale – and I tried felting for the first time! Charlotte, Leader with 1st Wolvercote Brownies

An explosive volcano

Girls moulded their own mountainous volcano around a bottle, before filling it with water, food colouring, washing up liquid and baking soda. Then they carefully added vinegar to make an explosive mess!

I enjoyed making stuff and experimenting like the volcano. It taught me about how to create stuff and make them work. – Philyra, 7
Making a volcano and changing the colour of cabbage were my favourite experiments. – Fia, 8

Famous women scientists

The girls were split into smaller groups and had to give presentations on women scientists. They even did a role play depicting the moment the woman made their scientific invention.

It was really interesting and taught me about the history of scientistsI would love to be a scientist because you can create new cures and inventions. - Tilly age 9
The part about the famous women scientists was very interesting for them, they really understood the whole ‘Women in Science’ part of the day. – Elaine, Leader with 3rd Merstham Brownies

Will we be seeing you at ICANDO?

How Does it Work? is just one of many badge days that we run at ICANDO. Take a look at Adventure Made Easy to see if there is a day perfect for your Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Senior Section unit.

I loved everything about it, it was all really fun. We don’t do fun experiments at school so it was really great to be trying new experiments.  – Gabi, 9