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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Science Fun

We are studying measurements and density this week in Science. Today, I decided to have a little fun with it. We did three little experiments to demonstrate how liquids can have different densities.
First, I asked Madison, Patrick, and Carter which had the highest density….plain water or salt water. We answered the question by dropping a raw egg into each. They all agreed that the salt water would have a higher density, but didn’t think that an egg would float in either one. They were shocked to find that we could add enough salt to the water to cause the egg to, indeed, float.

Next, I asked them to tell me which would have the highest density between water and cooking oil. We placed an ice cube in each container to see if it would sink in either one of them. Of course, it floated on the water. I was hoping that it would sink in the oil, but it didn’t. However, we did find in our next experiment that the oil was lighter than the water.
For our third experiment, we poured different liquids into a container to see if they would form layers based on their densities. First, we poured Karo Syrup into the container. Next, we added cooking oil. We colored water with red dye and added it next. The kids were amazed to watch the water go through the oil and settle on top of the syrup. The last thing that we added was alcohol. It didn’t separate as clearly as the other liquids, but did settle on the top as the lightest of all of the liquids. Once the liquids were all settled, we experimented by dropping different objects in to see which liquids they would sink through. Some objects passed all the way through to the bottom, while others passed through the alcohol, oil and water to settle on top of the syrup. The only thing that we could find to float on top of the alcohol was a sunflower seed shell.

I love doing hands on projects for Science. It’s amazing what the kids remember when they have seen it and experimented with it. It also gives me an opportunity to make school fun for them. I know that these things will stand out in their minds far longer than the book work. I feel they are both necessary, but certainly not equally as fun!


Blogger Heather said...

How fun! Those are awesome experiments.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Ooo, that looks like so much fun! We'll have to try that! Did you have something that you read to lead up to the lesson? That's my problem - trying to explain things before we do them. I don't know how I'd explain "density" to Reilly without a script!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

Hi Lisa,
Well, I had in my lesson plan to teach density, so I went online to find the experiments. On the internet page where the experiments were, there were also explanations for what you were doing. So, yes, I did have stuff to help me teach them :).
I was just happy to find fun stuff to do with this lesson. It seems like our Science lessons have been hard to make fun lately...or maybe I was just too wrapped up in birthdays and Christmas!
Thanks for the note.

Hi Heather,
Thanks for your kind note!!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Gina Marie said...

My best friend is a 4th grade teacher, and she says she would love to do lots of science experiments with the kids, but there just isn't time. And with more than 20 kids, it's just too crazy! Another good vote for homeschool. Ethan and I made "snow" from a little kit yesterday my mom sent. It's amazing how much fun it can be.

5:06 PM  

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