November 21

Crystals

Third grade mineralogists created crystals in two different ways. Crystals are a special kind of solid material where the molecules fit together in a repeating pattern.

In our first investigation, we dissolved Epsom salt in hot water and created a solution.We poured the solution into Petri dishes. As the water evaporated, the crystals were left.

In our next investigation, I poured 1/2 cup each of bluing, distilled water, and ammonia on top of damp sponges. After the three liquids were added, I placed food coloring and 1/2 cup of salt on top of the sponges.


Look what we discovered this morning!

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November 20

Mineralologists

Elements make-up minerals and minerals are the building blocks of rocks. Minerals are found on Earth’s crust and are solid and inorganic (non-living). Third grade geologists matched and identified nine minerals.

Then, we used physical properties that scientists use to identify minerals. We applied the Mohs Hardness Scale, performed a streak test with pieces of porcelain, and identified luster and cleavage. Click here for more information about the property tests.



Which igneous rock floats?

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November 10

Engineering Boats

Constructing boats during our sink and float unit is always a favorite lab! I began by reading The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I asked if there were other ways the goats could cross the river to stay away from the troll. There were several creative suggestions, but after one of the kindergarten students suggested a boat, I explained that they were going to be engineers and build a boat for the goats.

We applied the Engineering Design Process: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Test, and Improve. After looking at the design of several plastic boats, my engineers shared their ideas about how to successfully construct a boat. The following materials were available: aluminum foil, masking tape, Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and straws.

As they finished, we tested their boats and evaluated their designs.

Click here to watch some fun videos about sink and float concepts from Sesame Street. I encouraged my young engineers to build boats at home and to test them in their bathtubs.

November 7

Pendulums

Second grade continued their study of force and motion with a pendulum lab. A pendulum is an object hung from a fixed point that swings back and forth under the action of gravity. New vocabulary included amplitude, velocity, and period. Newton’s Cradle is a fun way to investigate the laws of motion. Lab partners were given seven different tasks. I heard lots of science chatter as they predicted how the balls would move during each trial.

The magnetic accelerator works in a similar way, but when you add a magnetic marble, the force is significantly greater.

We also observed a pendulum wave in motion. Click here  to watch one in action.

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November 5

Energy

My PreK scientists learned energy makes things happen and objects move in different ways.

A force is a push or a pull. We looked at some fun examples.

We used the following materials to investigate force and motion. Click here to learn more about the Wacky Hall Walker.

Click here for more information about these fun cars. My PreK scientists were racing them up and down the hallway. We pulled them back to make them move forward.

Boinks are a great tool to introduce elastic potential energy. We pushed them together before we released them. Many of them hit the ceiling! Click here to read about boinks.

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