March 17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, my youngest scientists studied rainbows. After learning how to form a rainbow with water and sun or with a prism, we used refractive rainbow peepholes to view rainbows in the lab. The colors are always in the same order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

The rainbows that we can see in the sky form an arch. How can we complete the arch on these rainbows? We dipped the ends of the rainbow in water and watched as our rainbow connected. What a fun way to investigate absorption!


Primary color food coloring was dropped in whole milk. When my scientists placed dishwashing soap on a Qtip into the milk, the colors exploded and mixed to form secondary colors. Click here  for details about this investigation. It’s a fun one!

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March 17

Brush Your Teeth!

First grade scientists study teeth. Why is it important to brush your teeth every day? Click here for an explanation of this investigation. Try placing hard boiled eggs in cold coffee. How do your results differ? I wondered if the egg white or yolk would be brown. I cracked the egg open to check. What do you think?

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March 16

Static Electricity

First grade scientists learned that matter is made up of atoms that are too small to see. An atom has a nucleus in the center and electrons that orbit it. Through friction, electrons can be rubbed off. Static electricity is the imbalance of positive and negative charges.

When two positively charged objects are brought close to each other they will REPEL each other. (The same will happen to two negatively charged objects.) When a positively charged object is brought close to a negatively charged object they will ATTRACT each other.

Click here  to learn more about static electricity.

We used static electricity to make this little man stand and dance.

Can you pick up a plate or tissue paper using the force of static electricity?

Can you make a can move across the floor and a straw rotate on top of a water bottle without touching them?  Click here to learn more.

Mrs. Dickey caught this example of static electricity on the playground. Can you find examples of static electricity at home?

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March 13

Evaporation

The word of the day was evaporation. Where do puddles go after it rains? I explained that water rises into the air in a process called evaporation. We can’t see the water vapor in the air because it is a gas. We looked at pictures and animations of the water cycle. Click here to watch a video about the water cycle. We are referring to water vapor, when we say that it is humid.

Then my kindergarten scientists moved outside to “paint” with water. We used four tools: a syringe, baster, spray bottle, and paintbrush. These are great tools to strengthen developing finger muscles. We experienced how air pulls the water inside the syringe and baster. When we pushed the sprayed bottle, the mist disappeared immediately. Where did it go?

As the water evaporated, our art disappeared. Did the water evaporate faster in the shade or in the sun? One scientist asked if we were painting with colored water because the sidewalk appeared darker. Another asked that if we covered a water spot with a bucket, could we stop evaporation? And then several children squirted water into the groove between the sidewalk squares, and watched how it traveled in the track. What a blessing to watch their joy as they made discoveries!

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March 12

Light and Color

Fourth grade physicists began their first optics lab with this illusion. Stare at the white dot for 30 seconds and then look at a blank wall or ceiling.

Seven colors constitute white light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. When we turned these colors on the whirligig and with a simple circuit, we saw white!

 

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March 11

Forensic Lab

My second grade forensic scientists learned that each of us has unique fingerprints. The friction ridges begin to form on our fingers before we are born. The three major fingerprint patterns are whorl, arch, and loop. To make our fingerprints, we rubbed the side of a pencil on a 3×5 card. Then we rolled our finger on the dark smudge of graphite. We lifted our fingerprint off with a piece of tape, placed that tape on our lab sheet, and identified each pattern. Click here to learn more. Identify fingerprints of family members. Compare results. Did you find any commonalities?

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March 10

Air

March is referred to as the windy month, so no better time to talk about air. Air is everywhere. We can’t see air, but air is a force that can push and pull. Wind is moving air. Thanks to the PreK teachers for grabbing some photos of last week’s fast paced introductory air lab.

I shot plastic cups off the heads of my scientists with the air vortex cannon.

How can you spin a pinwheel without touching it? We had a pinwheel parade and discovered that the air pushed our pinwheels as we walked. The faster we moved, the faster our pinwheels moved too.

This week, we each drew a face on a glove and placed it over a cup that had a straw in the side of it. When we blew into the side of the cup, we pushed the glove open, but when we sucked in, the glove pulled inside the cup. Why was there condensation inside our cups? Then someone discovered that you could pinch the straw to keep the air inside and it was possible to blow air inside the cup without the straw. Oh no, there was a hole in one of the gloves, and it would no longer fill with air. Why? What a fun way to see that air takes up space!

I cut both ends off  a water bottle and placed a glove on one side. When we placed the cylinder inside the water, the glove inflated. How did that happen? Where did the air come from that filled the glove?

I came across this fun investigation. How did I place this inflated glove inside the bottle?

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