Thursday, June 4, 2015

Leaky Antifreeze, Wait! No, Rock Candy, No, Moldy Sugar Water, No, Cultured Alien Barf

 For the last semester of school we were studying medicine and health for elementary science, but I also wanted to do some more hands-on type activities.  Here are a few of the ones we attempted.  I chose that verb on purpose. 
Rock Candy
     This one failed; I think I didn’t have 100% cotton string or something picky like that.  But we did learn about saturated solutions, and they had fun stirring inordinate amounts of sugar and food coloring into water and watching it dissolve.  It is okay to have something fail--we still learn.  We learned that mold made from colored sugar water was gross and did not make rock candy.   We also learned that if you ask a student to dump out the gross, moldy, sugar water, and they don’t dump it in the grass, but on the church driveway, it makes the trustees worried that someone’s antifreeze is leaking.  

Sprouted Red Oak Acorns
     I was weeding the area around my red oak tree when I pulled up these sprouted acorns.  I got two for every student, put them in cups in which I had drilled holes in the bottom, and added in some dirt.  We had an amazing class and discovered facts about the roots, the leaves, the stem, and symmetry.  We learned about tap roots, sprouting, and why red oaks are called red oaks.  We measured the stems and the roots, and them compared them.  The taller the stem, the longer the root.  
Sprouting Sweet Potatoes
     Next we put sweet potatoes in mason jars filled with water and watched as they sprouted, budded, and reached towards the light from the window.   It really brightened up our room.  

Sprouted Seeds in Self-Watering Bottles
We also put seeds in these neat little water bottle spouters which automatically water themselves with cotton string.  (Evidently I still had cotton string at this point.)  I got this idea from Teacher's Week at Faith Builders one summer.  
     We left all of these in the classroom until the last day of school and watched as they grew.  Books plus experiments equal learning.