Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moon Phases with 5th Grade

The 5th grade is exploring astronomy spent the last class learning about the phases of the moon.  Using modeling clay, they learned about the relative sizes of the earth and moon.  Next, using "moonpops" they were actually able to create moon phases as the moon orbited around the "earth" (the student).

The Science of Polymers

In Kindergarten we are studying chemistry.  In a two part experiment, the students observed polymers with hydrophilic properties.  Imagine their surprise when the alligators tripled in size in just under a week!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Owl Pellets in 2nd Grade

Second grade began their unit on owl pellets! Do you know what an owl pellet is? Ask a 2nd grade student for the answer!

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1st Grade tests Helicopter Design

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3rd Grade Mineral Field Guides

Third grade is beginning a unit on the properties of minerals.  They are testing different types of minerals to determine their unique properties.  Tests include streak, light, luster, magnetism and hardness.  The culmination of the project will be their own mineral field guide.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Size and Scale of the Solar System

If you wanted to create a scale model of the universe using a soccer ball as the sun, just how much room would you need?  The 5th graders were very surprised to find out that such a model wouldn't fit in the science room and, in fact, wouldn't even fit on our campus!  If you see a 5th grader, ask just how much space you would need!

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Special Visitors from The Academy of Natural Sciences

As part of their study of bird adaptations, the 2nd grade was treated to a presentation Michelle Bassler from the Academy of Natural Sciences.  Michelle brought three owls and a red-tailed hawk.  The students were able to see these magnificent bird up close and learn about the adaptations that raptors have that make them such efficient predators.

4th Grade Explores Sands from Around the World

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5th Grade Bridge Building Challenge

5th graders were given a limited amount of materials (mostly drinking straws and paperclips) and were asked to construct a bridge that could support weight.  After design and experimentation we tested the bridges to see how much weight they could hold.  Some bridges were able to hold over 1000 grams!  This was a physics design challenge to prepare the class for the Egg Drop Challenge later this year...

Pre-Kindergarten Sink and Float

Try This at Home!

Watch this blog for directions for interesting experiments that you can try at home!  This is a chemistry experiment from our Kindergarten Chemistry unit.

Chemistry Fun with Pennies

You can explore chemical reactions and clean pennies at the same time.You can explore chemical reactions and clean pennies at the same time.

  • dull pennies
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (dilute acetic acid)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (NaCl)
  • 1 shallow, clear glass or plastic bowl (not metal)
  • paper towels
Shiny Clean Pennies
 Pour the salt and vinegar into the bowl.  Stir until the salt dissolves.Dip a penny halfway into the liquid and hold it there for 10-20 seconds. Remove the penny from the liquid. What do you see?Now dump the rest of the pennies in and wait to see them shine!

Pennies get dull over time because the copper in the pennies slowly reacts with air to form copper oxide. Pure copper metal is bright and shiny, but the oxide is dull and greenish. When you place the pennies in the salt and vinegar solution, the acetic acid from the vinegar dissolves the copper oxide, leaving behind shiny clean pennies. The copper from the copper oxide stays in the liquid. You could use other acids instead of vinegar, like lemon juice.