Density is how packed molecules are in matter. For example, gold is very dense so it has a great deal of mass. Liquids with different densities were used to show this in an example. We used corn syrup, glycerin, dish soap, water and corn oil to display the density of these liquids. Food coloring was used so students could notice the difference in densities. Corn syrup was the most dense so it was on the bottom and the corn oil was the least dense so it remained on the top of the other liquids. We also placed a marble and cork in the solution. Since the marble was very dense, it went immediately to the bottom of the glass while the cork was the least dense so it remained on top of the oil. Kinsey observed, "The corn syrup was on the bottom because it had more density than the other liquids." Sean stated, "It was fun! I would like to add more ingredients!"
Students were able to learn about mixtures and solutions first hand with this lab. They began by observing the physical properties of the materials that were to be combined: salt, corn starch, water and mulch. They immediately observed that the mulch could be removed with the screen which made the concoction and mixture (when two or more substances are combined and are not chemically bonded and can be easily separated). They realized that remained was a solution (type of mixture in which one substance can't be removed from another substance)...or was it? They devised a plan to prove that it was a mixture. In a petri dish, they placed a few drops from the glass. It was set aside for a few days to let the water evaporate. With no water, the salt and corn starch remained and were easily separated with a hand lens and spoon. Jerry told, "I loved this fantastic activity on mixtures and solutions. Telling me the differences of mixtures and solutions and how to separate them was interesting, also it gave me the definitions of a mixture and a solution." You-Wei laughed, "I really liked how we can actually separate the salt and starch in the petri dish. It is of my favorite experiments yet."
Students got to practice their measuring and graphing skills by throwing straw airplanes. They also had to covert centimeters to meter. The most difficult step was throwing their plane the exact same way each time so there were no variables. Maximus stated, "I leaned planes could fly well if you have the right material." Sean quoted, "It was pretty fun flying these straw planes", and "I loved doing the straw planes experiment because it taught me how to make simple planes with straws'', thought Christian.
Students got to explore potential and kinetic energy with this activity. First, they pulled a rubber band back 1 cm or 10 mm and let it fly. They measured the distance of the flight and recorded their data. This was repeated 4 more times increasing the distance the rubber band was pulled back by 1 cm each time. Students practice measuring with and tape measure and ruler. They also perfected their skills of converting cm to mm. With this hands-on lab, they got to fully comprehend the difference between potential and kinetic energy. Madison exclaimed, "It was so fun to just go out and shoot rubber bands!" "I finally got to shoot a rubber band!," shouted Nataly! Patricio quoted, "This was awesome because we got to shoot rubber bands!!!!" Finally, the students also practiced graphing their collect data.
I hope you enjoy learning how the garden changes throughout the school year.