2017 Science FairPosted by Carlene Gordon
At the onset, the words SCIENCE FAIR may spark feelings of excitement, frenzy, confusion, or even dread. This is a very daunting task we place before our fourth graders. “Chose a scientific topic, formulate a central question and a hypothesis, create a demonstration or experiment to prove (or disprove your hypothesis), research the science behind your topic, write a conclusion and finally, present your findings to fellow students, teachers, family and friends.” At The Unquowa School, fourth grade is the initiation year into the annual science fair. We take this task and break it down into steps. Weeks are spent at school and at home preparing our students for the day of the science fair. As we progress, students gain the confidence of knowing how to approach a large assignment. Excitement and enthusiasm grows as students develop into knowledgeable scientists in their chosen area within the field. The day of the science fair arrived this year bringing with it our newly polished, confident and accomplished fourth grade scientists. Congratulations to all on a job very well done!
How High will the Ball Bounce?Posted by Carlene Gordon
Fourth grade scientists recently created their own investigations and lab reports based on this BIG question: How high will a ball bounce on various surfaces? Students developed a hypothesis and created an investigation. Data was collected, analyzed and presented in graph format. Finally, conclusions were drawn and those hypotheses were either confirmed or rejected. Although they all started with the same BIG question, student groups altered the controls and variables in their individual investigations. In the end, we learned how to use the scientific method accurately and share the outcomes effectively with fellow scientists.
Cracking the Code!Posted by Lloyd Mitchell
Fifth grade has recently begun exploring coding utilizing an app called Hopscotch. Starting with a simple object on the screen, students began by creating simple commands and watching their object come to life. By the end of their first class, the excitement in the room was bubbling over – it was clear that they wanted more! This is just the tip of the iceberg as we work to create our own coded games in the coming weeks!
Fresh Corn vs Popped CornPosted by Ann Palm
During our farm unit PreK-4 visited Patty Popp’s farm. It was a beautiful fall day to see Patty Popp’s “office,” as she called it. One of the children said but it’s outside! Patty replied yes and it’s wonderful! We saw her garden and many vegetables growing and met her new pigs. We learned that popcorn is different than corn on the cob. The children took the kernels off the cob and popped the corn to make popcorn. We all agreed it was delicious!
After we returned from the farm we had another special snack. The children husked and microwaved fresh corn. We compared it with popcorn and agreed that the popcorn kernel was much harder compared to the fresh corn and the taste was totally different. When voting for their favorite, guess which corn won!
What’s the Matter?Posted by Craig Knebel
The eighth graders are exploring matter, its properties and changes. They have learned that the four states of matter are solids, liquids, gasses, and plasma. But some items defy labeling. Think of gravy – it thickens as you stir it. Quicksand makes you sink as you struggle. These are Non-Newtonian fluids. They act like both liquids and solids. They students enjoyed making Ooblek, another example – it drips off of your fingers, but when squeezed, feels like a solid.
Learning to InvestigatePosted by Mary Faulkner
Rather than just read from a book about the parts of a scientific investigation or how to use instruments such as a thermometer accurately, the fifth grade science students have started with some hands-on learning. The first investigation explored the terms experiment, model, variable and control group. Students were given slices of fresh bread to study and asked to write thorough observations using all of their senses. Each slice was then stored for six days in either a plastic baggie or a paper bag. The students were then asked to do a second observation. Terms were introduced using the setup and parts of the observation and experiment. The next investigation involved taking accurate measures of cold, warm and room temperature water using a thermometer. We discussed the importance of making accurate measurements when performing an experiment. The students did a wonderful job and are proving themselves to be serious scientists!