Students got to understand and see the concept of density. "Density is how solid an object is," said Lauren. We took 5 liquids (food coloring added) and poured them into a cup one at a time. Those 5 liquids were corn syrup, water, glycerin, corn oil and dish soap. Students were able to observe how the liquid did not mix. After observing the concoction and mastering the concept of density, we added solid objects like a candle, washer, eraser, cork, ticky tack and a straw. The washer, ticky tack and eraser fell to the bottom of the cup. Students noticed that the eraser fell slower than the washer which meant it was less dense, and the ticky tack fell much slower than both and was the least dense of the three. The other three objects floated which the students determined were less dense of all liquids and solids. Gabe mentioned, "I thought it was pretty amazing how the liquids did not mix together." Connor thought, "It was pretty cool. I didn't realize you could use liquids as a sensor for determining density for solid matter."
Students learned how temperature can effect the solubility (dissolving) of an object. We put a chicken bouillon cube in three different cups of water. The first cup contained 28 degree Celsius water, second cup was 68 degree Celsius and the last one was near boiling at 85 degrees. Temperature was our variable in this lab. Students mastered the concept that the greater the temperature of the solvent (water), the faster a solute (bouillon cube) will dissolve.
Students had to decide if 6 different substances dissolved in water. Those items were: salt, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa power and pepper. Before beginning the lab, students made 5 observations about each substance. By direction of the teacher, they used their sense of taste as well to observe. In 6 different cups, they combine 10 ml of a substance in 200 ml of water and stirred for 1 minute. All combinations appeared to dissolve, but upon further review, students noticed that some did not dissolve completely. In fact, there was little dissolving by the cinnamon and pepper. Student's noticed this when they poured the into the sink. This observation helped students master the concept of what is a mixture and what is not.
Students got to explore mixtures further by combining salt and iron filings. Before attempting the lab, they discovered the properties of magnets. Students journeyed the room finding items that would attract and would not attract magnets. They learned that the iron, steel, nickel and cobalt had magnetic properties and also dispelled the myth that not ALL metals were attracted to magnets. They combined the salt and iron filings and used the magnets to remove the filings easily, thus making the contents of their cup a mixture. Avery learned, "that a lot of things are not attracted to magnets but only a few things are." Jan stated, "Well, I think it was really nice to learn something about magnets because magnets are interesting and the world is a magnet."
Students got to observe salt, corn starch, mulch and water. They were joined by second and fourth graders. After observing, they discussed what would happen if they combined the items. They also made observations after mixing the ingredients together. Students then devised a plan to separate the four substances. They also mastered the concept of a mixture. Nishtha explained, "a mixture is a combination of two or more substances that can be separated easily." Mason thought, "I enjoyed helping the seconders learn about matter."
After observing and collect data for the properties of the different substances and the mixture the previous day, students discussed the difference between mixtures and solutions. Chelsea stated, "A mixture is when two or more substances are combined and can be separated easily and is not chemically bonded". A solution is when a substance dissolves into another substance and is difficult to separate. Students were able to see that the concoction they made by combining the mulch, salt and corn starch in the water was a mixture. They used a screen to easily remove the mulch by pouring the liquid into another cup. They also realized that the remaining liquid was a solution now. They learned and discussed that the water would eventually evaporate leaving the salt and corn starch. Students simulated this by placing a few drops of liquid in a Petri dish. After the weekend, they were able to see that the water had in deed evaporated leaving the salt and corn starch. Elise thought, "It was cool because we got to see how separate a mixture." Cade also said, "I thought it was fun because we got to perform a science lab and learn about solutions and mixtures."
Students performed the It's the Last Straw activity. They made their own straw planes and had 5 test flights. Students practiced their measuring and Metric conversions skills as well. They learned about variables and the use of force. Abigail felt, "It was really cool to see how far the plane went went you threw it five times because it went lots of different ways." "I thought it was fun because I liked seeing how far I could throw the plane," stated Pablo. Sam thought, "I learned how force effects things and how they react."
Students today participated in a lab called Rubber Band Shoot! With a partner, students shot a rubber band from various lengths and recorded the distance it traveled. They were becoming proficient with the concept of potential and kinetic energy. Students got to use their hands to see how the more potential energy something has, the more kinetic energy occurs. Additionally, they could feel how force effected energy. Students also sharpened their graphing skill with a bar graph depicting their results. Miles thought, "It showed really good examples of potential and kinetic energy." "It was fun because we got to shoot rubber bands," giggled Avery. Arnie said, "it was fun because we got to go outside to see the results."
I hope you enjoy learning how the garden changes throughout the school year.