April 27


In the second half of both of their labs, prefirst and first grade grade scientists connected math and science as they learned about anaglyphs. We learned that a 2D shape has two dimensions (length and width), while a 3D shape has three dimensions (length, width, and height). We looked at examples of anaglyphs and noticed that red and cyan were added to the photos. When we wore glasses with lenses of the same color, the pictures became 3D. These scientists especially enjoyed watching a 3D movie. Click here to take a ride on a roller coaster. Want to learn more about the art of anaglyphs? Click here.

Have 3D glasses at home? Click here to review shapes.

April 27

Rust and Mars

After reviewing the Scientific Method, PreFirst scientists applied the process to investigate rust. Click here to learn more about the Scientific Method.

First, we observed this metal can and discussed why it might have rusted. These young scientists thought it might be old or dirty.

Then, we looked at fifteen metal items and each scientist made a hypothesis to answer the question: Will the item rust?  They brought the tray of objects back to their classroom to observe. Try this investigation at home with items you collect around your house. Ask all family members to make hypotheses.

Why is Mars called the red planet? Click here to learn why. If we place steel wool in water, will it rust and look like the surface on Mars? Our control bag does not contain water.

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April 27


Second grade biologists are finishing the year with a study of invertebrates. They will investigate live specimens in the remainder of their labs. In this lab, we studied pill bugs, also known as roly-polies, potato bugs, and isopods.

Although they have the word bug in their name, pill bugs or roly-polies aren’t bugs at all. They are crustaceans, and therefore related to shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. Pill bugs are decomposers, the last stop on the food chain, and are often referred to as nature’s recyclers. Although they are terrestrial, they breathe through gills. Other vocabulary included molt, isopod, defense mechanism, exoskeleton, and habitat.

What will the roly-poly do when it reaches the end of the stick-turn around, back up, climb under the stick, or jump off?

 Click here to learn more about a pillbug’s habitat. So fun to use my doc camera, so we could observe the isopods in their home. Notice that all the isopods are not the same color.

STEM challenge:  Build a maze for your isopods.

We took a quiz to assess what we knew about pillbugs before lab and what we’d learned by the end of  lab.

We also observed our millipedes-Jilly and Billy. While millipedes are fairly safe to handle, centipedes are not. We learned the difference between the two. Click here to learn more.

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