Saturday, September 18, 2010

You've heard of Bill Nye....

Well, he may be the Science Guy, but according to my class, he's got nothing on me. :) If you asked my last year's class at the end of the year what their favorite subject was, I think more than 75% would have said science. The reason being, the experiments. Since I know that everyone always learns best through personal experience and science lends itself easily to such experiences, I try to fit in as many experiments as possible to our curriculum. In 4th grade science we study cool things like kinetic and potential energy, the solar system, electricity, weather, and ecosystems... obviously, some are easier to find experiments for than others, but sometimes I just find a cool experiment that I really want to do/know my kids would love, so I stretch it to somehow make it fit into a subject.

Perfect example is the experiment we did on Friday. After teaching my kids about Manipulated and Responding Variables (I know, I know. Who in their right mind would ever put this in a 4th grade curriculum is beyond me!!), I figured I needed a way to reinforce these ridiculously long words/abstract concepts to my kids. So, my class joined up with Mrs. Bozung's 4th grade class and we decided to use the steps of the Scientific Method to figure out an answer to the problem: Which type of Soda will Shoot the Highest when Mixed with Mentos? We worked through each of the steps (research, hypothesis, constants, variables) and then headed out to the basketball court to get our data. Here are some pictures...

My kids were sold on this experiment as soon as I broke out the mentos. Adding the soda sealed the deal. Then when I told them we'd be combining the two to make an "explosion".. you can imagine.
If anyone has any ideas for catchy scientist names, please let me know. Rhyming with Wacek can be difficult.
Thanks mom for the sweet lab coat! My kids officially think I know something about science!
Mrs. Bozung rockin' her sweet safety goggles and making up some schpiel about safety first.
Orange soda was a dud.
Sam's Cola got up to about 3 feet
Diet Cola was the winner! Up past 5 feet high!! Our inference was that maybe it was because of the aspertame? Who knows. I just LOVE the look on each child's face!
A shot of the other half of the group during the Mountain Dew fountain.  A lot of kids hypothesized this would be the winner. It only got to 2 1/2 feet.

Such a fun day! Definitely beats a growing plants experiment!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun experiment! You are a great teacher and I only wish I could go back and have you as my fourth grade teacher:)