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!
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!
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.
We celebrated Valentine’s Day in true STEM fashion today – with a design challenge! Students were tasked with building a device that would safely deliver a Valentine’s stuffed animal to its destination. They were limited to construction paper, string, paper clips, and popsicle sticks. I was impressed with the variety of designs I saw!
Continuing our study of cells, the 6th grade are learning about the chemical compounds that make up our cells – carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Today, we used iodine to test which items of the four we tested (cereal, flour, sugar, and bread) contained starch, which is a carbohydrate!
The 6th graders got to see things a little closer today! We are introducing our unit on cells by taking a look through a microscope at some actual cell samples! Favorite specimens included some nerve cell samples, skin cell samples, and even some bacteria!
The 7th graders put their knowledge into action this Flex day! We have been studying weather, and this week specifically we talked about humidity and relative humidity. We used thermometers, gauze, some string, and an empty water bottle to create a homemade psychrometer, which measures relative humidity. The kids were equal parts nervous and excited to swing the thermometers through the air!
The 6th graders kicked off the new year with some hands-on science! In our chapter about soil conservation, we read about several farming techniques designed to minimize soil loss due to runoff during rainfall. Here, we are modeling contour plowing!
The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone… the 6th grade is making sure to take some time to explore the benefits of mediation!
The 6th graders explored some crafts that may have been made around the time of the first Thanksgiving! They were given a wealth of materials, and from those were to create a “stick and loop” game. The object is to catch the loop on the stick. They were encouraged to experiment with length of string, size of loop, material of the loop, etc. They had a ton of fun!
8th grade put their knowledge of static and sliding friction to the test today! We used a spring scale to measure the force it took to overcome the static friction of our tennis shoes, and also measured the sliding friction across the tabletop. It was lots of fun, even if we had to plug our noses!!
As part of our study of groundwater, the 7th grade got to model water drainage through different materials. They partially filled a beaker with small pebbles, then topped it off with sand. Then, they poured water into a “sprinkler” over the beaker to simulate rainfall and observed how the water drained through the beaker.