SCIENTISTS GET DRESSED GLOVE CHALLENGE/STEM ACTIVITY
SCIENTISTS GET DRESSED GLOVE CHALLENGE
HANDS-ON STEM ACTIVITY INSPIRED BY THE NEW CHILDREN’S BOOK SCIENTISTS GET DRESSED, written by Deborah Lee Rose (Persnickety Press/Wundermill)
WHY DO SCIENTISTS WEAR GLOVES?
—To protect their hands from freezing or burning, getting cut or scraped, or being exposed to germs or chemicals
—To keep germs or dirt on their hands from reaching patients, lab samples or sensitive pieces of equipment
WHAT KINDS OF GLOVES DO SCIENTISTS WEAR?
All kinds! Giant mittens to keep warm on glaciers; gloves lined with Kevlar, stronger than steel, for handling rescued raptors; spacesuit gloves with fingertip warmers for outside a spacecraft; cotton gloves that won’t melt on volcanoes; waterproof gloves to keep dry and warm in streams and lakes; tight-fitting, thin gloves that flex like a bare hand for work in labs or operating rooms; and more…
ACTIVITY THEME AND PURPOSE
If you were a scientist, what gloves would YOU wear? Try different tasks wearing different kinds of gloves, to understand why scientists need specific clothing and tools, and the real hands-on challenges of scientific work.
WHAT YOU NEED
Inexpensive gloves including: thick cotton gloves to represent a volcanologist’s gloves/very thin, very flexible gloves to represent a lab scientist’s or surgeon’s gloves/thicker, ski-type gloves to represent an astronaut’s space gloves/mittens or oven mitts to represent a glaciologist’s gloves/long dishwashing gloves to represent a water chemist’s gloves
Inexpensive “tools” including: tongs to pick things up/storage container with liftoff or screw-on top/small sponge wedges/ measuring tape/toy bricks or other blocks/washable markers and paper/Optional: ice cubes and water in a large bowl or container
WHAT TO DO
Put on each kind of gloves, one kind at a time, and try to:
Connect or build with toy bricks /Open and close a container with liftoff or screw-on top/Pick up sponge wedges or other soft objects with tongs/Measure an object of any size/Write with a marker
If you have water and ice, and two kinds of waterproof gloves, put your gloved hands briefly in the icy water, trying one glove type at a time. Which gloves keep your hands warmer?
Which gloves worked best with which tools/tasks? Why?
CHALLENGE EXTENSION—from glaciologist Adrian McCallum
Test different gloves by timing yourself to see how long it takes to button or zip your coat or jacket, depending on your gloves. On a space mission or in regions like the Arctic and Antarctica, how fast scientists get dressed is critical to their safety and survival.
[All photos from SCIENTISTS GET DRESSED written by Deborah Lee Rose, who also created this activity.]