Science can be big and explosive or it can be as simple as the following experiment to develop that sense of wonder and curiosity. After presenting background information about how paper is made, we reviewed why some objects sink and others float. Then, we reviewed the Scientific Method. In this investigation, we pondered what would happen if we folded the petals of a paper flower toward the center and dropped the flower onto the surface of the water. The flowers appeared to magically open. You need to see this in action. Click here to watch a video. What forces the flower to bloom? I repeated the investigation and changed some variables – flowers of various sizes, flowers cut from tagboard, copy paper, and construction paper, and petals folded in different sequences – to see how our results might change.
Afterwards, we were engineers and made our own paper designs that would open when dropped in water. I saw a large variety of ideas, including stars, hands, butterflies, and turtles. We experienced mixed results and learned from each design.