Sunday, November 1, 2009

Science Sunday: Pumpkins and Monsters

Some experiments can be super duper simple. OF course some are not so simple, I went with simple this week because I had in-laws coming and costumes to finish. Lots of costumes to finish, sigh silly girl.

We did two experiments this week, the first was a fail, the second was a success.

Experiment 1

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I had them predict what would happen with the sponge capsules that you can get. You know the ones that start out looking like medicine and you drop in warm water and they become a shape. We hadn't done them before (more for lack of finding than want), so I thought to see what they'd predict.

Here's where I ran into the problem, the first kid I did the experiment with (Batman, pictured above) had already figured it out. And it was a great bit of deductive reasoning.

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Sorry for the blurry photo, I just could not get the camera to cooperate. He had looked at the packaging and from the picture on the back and the general packaging that it must turn into a monster somehow. So, that's what he said and of course his brother and sister both went, "Yeah, that's what's going to happen," when it was their turn.

So, that didn't turn out quite right. But, the kids had lots of fun playing with their new monsters.

Next Experiment

Pumpkin science. There are a lot of very fun math and science activities you can do with a pumpkin. Back when I taught first grade we would spend a whole day working through different activities. Here's what we would do:

1. Measure the circumfrence of the pumpkin with a piece of string, guess how long it would be (learning measurment and predicting)
2. Count the lines around the pumpkin, it's interesting to compare the number of lines with different sized pumpkins. I'm totally blanking right now, but it might fall into the Fibonacci sequence (and I'm sure I mispelled that). Fibonacci is a sequence an Italian scientist discovered back during the Renaissance. It goes like this: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13. The next number is the sum of the two previous numbers.
3. Weigh pumpkins.
4. Count pumpkin seeds, estimate how many will be in there.

As you can see it's a lot of counting and math, but here's the two things we did.

Does a pumpkin float?

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1. Talk about how different things will sink or float. We threw different things in the bath tub (I really shouldn't have filled it that full, but live and learn). They had lots of fun figuring out what each thing was going to do. The boat floated, Joker slowly sank.

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2. After throwing lots of things in make your prediction will it sink or float. Superman guessed it would float, the other two thought it would sink (I did the super formal stand on this side of the bathroom if you believe it will float).

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I"m not sure how much of this was Princess believing it would sink, and how much was, I don't want to stop playing in the water.
* also notice the boys are wearing shorts. We're working on them remembering to wear shorts.

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Result: The pumpkin floated, just like it should. So, then I let the kids have a few more minutes of throwing in toys and whatever else they could find they could convince me to throw in.

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And my bath tub after the experiments:

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Yeah........ That wasn't as much fun to clean up, however I have a nice clean floor because of all the water splashed.

So, if you have any science activities you've done recently, or any games or toys link them up. This does not have to be limited to experiments. I want to see whatever you're doing that is science related!

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