Messy Summer Science! Keep science-ing this summer! Use the links below to look into some science activities that are probably best done outside :) (Disclaimer - please make sure to ask permission before emptying materials from your cupboard, or making a giant mess)
Exploding Chalk Art - We all know vinegar and baking soda are fun... This activity uses that reaction combined with food coloring and corn starch to make some colorful sidewalk art!
Walk on oobleck - (I hope) We all have gotten a chance to play with this crazy stuff. If not - definitely try it! Mix cornstarch and water together to create this crazy "fluid" that doesn't always act like a liquid! This activity takes it to the next level. I'm NOT suggesting you fill a kiddie pool with this stuff (YIKES $$$), but maybe one of those disposable cake pans could work - try to step in and out of the pan without getting your feet dirty! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUMX_b_m3Js
Giant bubbles! - This activity does involve a kiddie pool. You'll make your own bubble solution using dish soap and water, then use a hula hoop and some yarn for the "bubble maker". See if you can fit someone inside the bubble! https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/giant-bubble-experiment/
Exploding watermelon! - You've probably seen the Youtube videos on this one - put rubber bands around a watermelon until it explodes! I've personally done this one - it's fun! It does take a lot of patience (and a LOT of rubber bands...), but the good news is, if you're willing to rinse watermelon bits out of the rubber bands, they can totally be reused. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK8dsAeMmPk
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The activity provides the perfect transition from our chapter on energy transfer in the atmosphere and wind formation to our chapter on weather.
6th grade wrapped up Holy Week with an in-depth look at Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem. We outlined the city and identified major locations, such as the Temple, the Garden, and the Upper Room. We then took clips of classic art pieces depicting these famous Biblical scenes, and sorted them according to where in the city they would have taken place.
Here you can see them using microscopes to get a closer look at some slices of cork (just like Robert Hooke!), and using Lego blocks to model how spec
The 6th grade has been learning all about cells and the role they play in our bodies.
You can see the 7th grade building models showing various methods of lake formation during our chapter on Earth’s Water.
8th grade is testing out various “bird beak” designs to determine which style will best help them survive their island habitats.
The 8the graders put their knowledge of genetics to the test with the creation of some new class pets! Each group was given two sets of alleles - one from a male “Bloop” and one from a female “Bloop”. Using a table of Bloop traits, they determined which traits followed the rules of Mendelian genetics, and which were decided by codominance or incomplete dominance. They then used their allele pairs to determine which version of each trait their Bloop inherited, and created their unique creature. We also discussed how some traits are not inherited, but are acquired - things like dyed/styled hair, tattoos, or amputations - so, they appropriately donned their new pets with tattoos and some freshly styled antennae.
6th grade tried their hand at mining for Lima beans. They had to choose a tool (spoon, pencil, or tweezers) and try to find all of the beans in their
(It was not easy to find leaves that were still green at the end of November, but we managed!) We observed the different pigments present in leaves that outwardly only appeared green. We concluded the activity with a discussion about what we might see if we tried this activity at a different time of the year, using leaves from a tree known to turn colors in the fall.
Here, you can see them using play dough and sequins to get an idea of how intense pressure can change the arrangement of grains within a rock (metamorphism), and then using different colors of legos to model how rocks can get weathered into sediment and then compacted into a sedimentary rock.
6th grade got in to the Halloween spirit this past FLEX Day with a little dry ice fun! Add a bit of colored water, place it in a flask (makes it look extra science-y!), and you’ve created a spooky ambiance that made our normal work a lot more fun. And to top it off, we got to enjoy some carbonated apple cider with our lunch!
To add some fun to our lesson on minerals, 6th grade grew some salt crystals! We learned about different properties of a mineral and how minerals form. One way minerals form is through the evaporation of water. Any dissolved minerals in the water crystallize into a solid as the water evaporates. We saw that first hand last week, when we made a salt water solution and left it to evaporate over the weekend. We got the chance to observe some beautiful cubic crystals!!
Want to try “crystal” formation at home? Make some rock candy! Though sugar is not a mineral, the process of the sugar crystallizing out of the hot water solution models another method of mineral formation!
In order to get an idea of why scientists (ever heard of Dmitri Mendeleev? Ask a 7th grader how to pronounce that one!) felt the need to organize the elements into a table, the 7th grade tried their hand at finding some specific pieces of paper. Lo and behold, it was much easier to find what we were looking for when there was some rhyme or reason to how they were arranged!
The 6th grade put some scientific claims to the test this week. After reading about the importance of skepticism, and making some info-mercials of our own, we decided to test an actual product's claims. We took four different brands of paper towels, and tested their strength by placing marbles on a soaked sheet of paper towel until it tore. We graphed our data, and then finished off the activity with a great discussion on our scientific process, and what sort of claims we reasonably could (or could not) make from the data we collected.
Enjoy these channels (in no particular order), they can provide some great information!
https://www.youtube.com/user/destinws2 <–Smarter Every Day