Exciting things have been happening in the lab this year! Here are a few of the activities that your students have experienced:
Kindergarten: Animals, Motion and Gravity - They have learned all about animals, from footprints to motion. They also used different size balls to understand motion and gravity. As your student which falls faster: a penny or a large ball? They should tell you they are the same! Ask them why!
1st Grade: Weather, Water and Magnets- They have learned all about clouds, made weather vanes, experimented with the push and pull of magnets and even made ice cream to understand melting and freezing!
2nd Grade: Matter, Seasons and Energy- They made quick sand (a suspension) to understand solids/liquids, and they have explored different ways we get heat and light energy. We took the color out of leaves in a process known as chromatography.
3rd Grade: Rocks, Minerals, Soils and Fossils- We have investigated properties of rocks and minerals, made sugar crystals, and fossils out of clay which we glazed with dirt! We extracted the Iron Oxide out of Georgia red clay and made a glaze- our fossils look like they just came out of the ground!
4th Grade: Water, Weather, Force & Motions- Ask your students about water quality testing and understanding the water cycle on a large scale. They have learned all about cold and warm fronts of weather, and analyzed the different forces acting on moving objects by making a paper cylinder flyer. Let them explain what happened in each experiment- it’s in their lab notebooks!
5th Grade: Land Forms, Physical and Chemical Changes - We used sand castles to compare how mountains erode and pasta to see the different ways mountains are formed ! They should be experts on physical and chemical changes, we have been mixing different substances together to understand how things are changed. Ask your student what their favorite chemical reaction was! Let them explain what happened in each experiment- it’s in their lab notebooks!
I am back from Africa with many great stories and pictures to share soon! This week 1st graders made ice cream! The purpose of this lab was for them to actually see liquid turning into a solid and also revisit the water cycle to recognize condensation forming on the bags. Many students asked that I post the recipe so they can try it again at home- or show siblings in other grades how it works. Here is the recipe:
*This makes enough for about 18 students to get 1/3 cup of ice cream. You can either freeze it for later or enjoy an extra serving or 2!
Put 1/3 cup of the premixed liquid in a sandwich bag. Fill the quart bag about 1/2 way with ice and add 1/4 cup rock salt on top. Set the *sealed* sandwich bag into the quart bag (with the ice) and shake for about 15-20mins. Then take the sandwich bag out and enjoy your ice cream! If you are making larger servings you can use larger bags. You can also change the flavor with different pudding flavors.
I made it to Africa! We have not been able to get internet connection until now and I only have a few minutes but I wanted to give you an update. We had a day visit to a Catholic all girls boarding school and we have been visiting local village schools and interacting with the tribe people. This is without a doubt the most friendly and happy place on Earth and I will be very sad to leave. The children need shoes and clothing, and the buildings are very primitive, but I have never met happier children in my life. When we gave them all the books and school supplies, they were so happy I started crying. The teachers here are actually on strike so many of the students have been unattended in classes teaching themselves in small groups.
I have seen so many animals along the way as well! I have SO many pictures to share when I get back. I will try to send pictures if I can, but we are very limited on time for each person to use the internet. If not, I will share them with you when we get back!
I have had several requests from 3rd grade students to share the recipe we used to make their sugar crystals so they can make them at home. The crystals are basically rock candy so if you have clean materials you can eat them!
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
string with paper clip
All you have to do is dissolve the sugar into the boiling water. You want to add just enough sugar that it starts to accumulate on the bottom of the jar. Add your food coloring and your straw or pencil with the string and paper clip attached. Your students will be able to show you the setup!
Also, THANK YOU for all of the book donations. I have an entire suitcase full to take with me to Africa. I will have many pictures to share when I return. Thank you again!
I am so excited for the start of science lab! This week has begun with some very fun and messy experiments. During the next few weeks you can expect your students will be doing the following: Second grade already made quicksand representing a suspension and fifth grade will be using sandcastles and water to test the effects of erosion. First grade will be looking at different weather and science tools and understanding different types of clouds. Kindergarten will be looking at animal tracks and matching the foot and paw prints to the correct animal. Lastly, fourth grade will be making different water samples and experiment with water quality testing. Make sure you ask your students about lab and what they have learned so far! We are off to a great start!