There are many animals in the Arctic that have a thick layer of fat (blubber) to help them survive the frigid temperatures. The blubber acts as an insulator. Kindergarten scientists investigated how blubber works. They placed one hand in icy water with just a Ziploc bag to protect their hand. In the other bag was a layer of Crisco shortening (blubber). When they plunged the insulated hand in the water, it remained warm.
I told my fourth grade astronomers that when I think of space, I think of force, motion, energy, and balance. Centripetal force is the force that keeps an object moving in a circular path. Satellites in orbit around a planet is an example of this force, but there are many examples in everyday life. We performed several investigations to see this force in action. Friction and gravity were also at play.
My daughter lives in Detroit. She captured this snowflake as it hit her car window. All snowflakes, which are made from ice crystals, have six sides. Each snowflake is unique.
Scientists of all ages will enjoy cutting their own snowflakes on this fun site: Click here.
When I plan science units for each grade level, I use a multi-disciplinary approach. Science is integrated with the other subject areas, includng art, music, social studies, reading, writing, technology, and math. Kindergarten and Pre-First classes have been studying Antarctica. After reading Tacky the penguin stories, the children had a Tacky Day and dressed like characters from the story. Tacky is a penguin that doesn’t follow the crowd!
Engineers use science and math to design solutions to problems. First grade engineers were given 30 toothpicks and marshmallows and then I asked them to design the tallest tower possible that could stand on its own. We looked at photos of real towers for inspiration. Before we started, the children also reviewed solid shapes. I asked them to determine which shapes were the strongest as they worked. This was a challenging task with great opportunities for problem solving.
We have taken an annual Christmas trip with my daughter since she was in high school. This year we went to Park City, Utah. Although it was unusually warm and rainy in Atlanta, the weather in Park City was cold and snowy! So grateful for this time together and for all the memories we created.