Sunday, February 8, 2015

E is for Experiment

Children are the best scientists because they are enthusiastic to try new things and are not jaded from preexisting research. From the baby who discovers the physics of a rolling ball rolls, children embark on a scientific journey, often without realizing it.
Here Naftali tests the physics involved in making the motorized truck climb the ramp. He changed the variables of distance and incline repeatedly until his experiment was a success. 

A team of physicists worked together on marble tracks. 

On the chemistry from, I wanted the students to observe how mixing different ingredients would produce different results.
"I have been trying that at home," Ava announced. "I like to mix peanut butter with water and stir and stir."
"What happened?" asked Yehuda.
"I don't know yet. I am still waiting to see," she explained.

 Monday's chemistry involved adding water to cornstarch. The children delighting in having their own beakers and adding as they saw fit. 
 They delighted even more in playing with the "oobleck" and played with it all week. 
 On Wednesday they enjoyed the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar.
 Again, the reaction was appreciated as much as the tactile experience.

When I explained chemistry, I used the example of mixing colors. "Like what happens if you mix yellow and blue together?" Every student offered a suggestion, ranging from different colors to textures. No one said green!
 Therefore everyone got to mix the paints on the table. "Green!" They were amazed.

But I, Sharona, am a jaded scientist and did not think that coloring mixing was impressive. Until Morah Emily showed me an incredible science experiment. 

Line up three cups. Put water and food coloring in the two outer cups. The middle cup stays completely empty.  Fold a paper towel in thirds and then tear it in half. Place the paper towel pieces half in the colored water and half in the empty cup.
Slowly the colored water walks up the paper towel and into the empty cup. I was skeptical at first. 

 Then the students and I were equally fascinated. 
 The middle cup started filling with green. You could actually see it happen! (Not like food color on celery stalk experiment.)
 Tada! Science and color mixing! Try it at home. Like the germ experiment, it is incredible and easy. 

And we ended the week with a 'famous' experiment. Before the Tu Bishvat seder the students asked if there would be a special treat. I reminded them about the 7 species. 
"But that isn't a treat!" they all complained. They went on to explain that treats were candy or cupcakes or soda. I wasn't surprised but I was irked. So we looked at the chemical reaction of candy (Mentos) and soda (Diet Coke).

We invited the kindergarten who apparently are more jaded and know of previous research in this area. 
Ironically some students were more disappointed that they couldn't eat the mentos (I didn't use Kosher ones) than they were about the eruption. 
E for Exciting Erupting Experiment!

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