Science Fun

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Posted On: 3 Apr

Sherwood Forest Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Sherwood Forest Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Sherwood Forest Elementary School

GRADE: 1st
PROGRAM: Soil Rocks!
Scientist: Christine Martin

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a forest. And in that forest, there was a school. This school was filled with smart and confident junior scientists ready to learn. And this magical place was called Sherwood Forest Elementary School. Scientist Christine had the opportunity to visit this enchanted school on the morn of March 26th. But it wasn’t as easy as that.

Scientist Christine had to fight her way against sleepiness, traffic, and the sun rising in the east reflecting in her rear view mirror. But she proved triumphant and cascaded her way into the warm and inviting school. To her surprise though, what appeared to be a rectangular building on the outside, was filled with mazes in the inside. Once she navigated her way through the mousetrap, she peeked her head into her first class, Mrs. Peters’ class. There she was greeted by twenty first graders. They had twinkles in their eyes and grins on their faces. In an instance, the junior scientists magically transformed into geologists. Not only did Mrs. Peters’ class change into geologists, but so did Mrs. Farnum’s class, and Mrs. May’s class.

First, the geologists ran water races. And they got a little bit happier. Then, they went on a safari. And they got a little bit happier. Last, they mined for rocks and minerals inside a cave. And they got a little bit happier. It was the happiest day of all of their lives.

The story goes that Scientist Christine even met I a heroic geologist that brought in their own rocks and minerals! Could this be true? I guess we’ll never know for sure. That’s how legends are made.

The End

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Posted On: 21 Mar

Lillington-Shawton Elementary School

Lillington-Shawton Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

“Lillington-Shawton

GRADE: 1st
PROGRAM: Weather Wise
Scientist: Amber Oliver

Weather Wise is one of my favorite programs now! The students get an opportunity to see weather tools in action. The staff at Lillington-Shawton always makes me feel so welcome, I am always greeted so warmly. The students at Lillington-Shawton are very polite and respectful, it speaks volumes about the values that are being taught at the school. The students enjoyed experimenting with the tornado tubes and watching all of the glitter swirl inside the bottle’s vortex. Something memorable about the visit to Lillington-Shawton was Lauren she was a sweet and intelligent student who stated that “she wanted to be a scientist and can’t wait to grow up and conduct experiments on her own.”

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Posted On: 15 Mar

Highcroft Drive Elementary School

Highcroft Drive Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Highcroft Drive Elementary School

GRADE: 1st
PROGRAM: Soil Rocks
Scientist: Sarah Green

Monday isn’t anyone’s favorite day, and the first Monday after daylight savings time is particularly hard, but a fantastic group of first graders at Highcroft Drive Elementary turned my day around! It was a chilly morning, and as I unpacked my bins for the start of our program “Soil Rocks!” I looked up at the darkening sky. Once inside I was met by the warm front office staff, and sent on my way down the quiet halls to the first grade wing. The bright hallways looked welcoming as I wound my way down to the 300’s and all the first grade teachers were in the halls ready to greet me, and any incoming students for the morning. What a nice surprise!

As I got settled in and began unpacking, my first grade scientists started to arrive. Already I could tell they were ready for the day! They were reading books, getting settled in, finishing work, and occasionally looking over their shoulders to see if they could figure out what I was up to! When the bell rang they were in their seats and looking eagerly in my direction. “Good morning scientists” I said, and in an excited chorus they replied “Good morning!” We were off to a great start.

Soil Rocks! Is a program about geology, a study of the earth and its physical structure. I knew I had a special group when I asked “Who cares about dirt? Why do we study it? Why is soil and dirt so important?” and every hand in the class went up! They had so much to share, and so many personal stories about when and how they use plants and interacted with rocks. Several even shared that they had their own rock collection started already! I was amazed, and my amazement only grew as we investigated parts of soil, checked out some live decomposers, and even learned why the soil in our own backyards was so special! But the real excitement, and where I truly saw my scientists shine, was when we did our rocks and minerals excavation. Even in the dark of the “cave” we were digging in, I could see the gleaming eyes of students eager to learn, happy to work together, and excited to be exploring and discovering their own rocks and minerals. “Wow, check this out Scientist Sarah!” “You won’t believe what I found!” “Come here! I think I got a diamond!!” “Look how smooth and shiny this one is!” “Cool, look at yours!” “I love this so much!” These were just a few of the sentiments I heard as I wound my way among the digging scientists. There’s nothing I love to see more than a group of scientists feeling pride and excitement in what they are doing.

There were so many great moments from Monday, but the comment that most touched my heart was just as I was packing up to leave. Each scientist had a bag of rocks and minerals they had found (all on their own!) and were putting away as I prepared for my next class. Then, one student who had been quiet the whole class came up to me and said “I think I might like science now.” Then she and her friend walked away, smiling and talking about what we had done that morning. We forget that it’s easy to enjoy something you are familiar with or are good at, but when a student succeeds and feels triumphant after an experiment that was difficult or new, that is what makes a transformative experience. The first grade scientists I worked with on Monday were amazing, and their joy and excitement turned my day around. I loved the enthusiasm the first grade classes at Highcroft Drive Elementary brought to their in-school field trip, and I hope they will continue to believe in themselves and not be afraid to try new things, especially in science! I can’t wait to go back and work with them some more as they prepare to become world changers!

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CIRCLE OF LIFE: THE LIFE CYCLE OF A BUTTERFLY

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CIRCLE OF LIFE EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CIRCLE OF LIFE BADGE

 

 

THE LIFE CYCLE OF A BUTTERFLY

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Caterpillar

Container

Leaves (food the caterpillar will eat)

Stick

Netting or nylons

 

 

 

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Directions:

Capture a caterpillar. You can find them outside on the leaves of plants of tress in spring.

Gather some leaves from the plant on which you found the caterpillar.

Place the leaves and caterpillar in the container.

Cover the container with the netting or nylons.

Change the leaves every day and add a dry paper towel to avoid mold.

Lean a stick against the wall of the container so the caterpillar has something on which to attach.

Once the caterpillar forms the cocoon, wait ten to fourteen days for the butterfly or moth to hatch.

 

 

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CIRCLE OF LIFE: HOW FAST DO THINGS ROT?

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CIRCLE OF LIFE EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CIRCLE OF LIFE BADGE

 

 

HOW FAST DO THINGS ROT?

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Pumpkin

Knife

Four containers with lids

Water

Dirt

Paper and pen

 

 

 

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Directions:

Cut four pieces of pumpkin that are equal in size and with fit into your containers.

Put one piece of pumpkin into each container.

One container will be our control.

Fill one container with water that covers the piece of pumpkin.

Cover another piece of pumpkin with dirt.

Place the final container and piece of pumpkin in the refrigerator.

Check your pumpkin samples every five days and document any changes you observe. Compare the changes over time.

 

 

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CIRCLE OF LIFE: WHY DO WE HAVE SEASONS?

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CIRCLE OF LIFE EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CIRCLE OF LIFE BADGE

 

 

WHY DO WE HAVE SEASONS?

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Medium sized Styrofoam ball from the craft store

Lamp with the shade removed

Pencil, bamboo skewer, or knitting needle

Sharpie or marking pen

 

 

 

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Directions:

Mark the top of the ball with the letter N.

Mark the bottom of the ball with the letter S.

Draw a circle around the middle of the ball to represent the equator.

Set the lamp in the middle of a room.

Push the pencil through the N and S marks on the ball.

Now tilt the N slightly toward the lamp.

Turn on the lamp and observe what parts of the ball are illuminated.

Be sure to note the wall toward which the ball is pointing. You will need to point the ball toward this wall for the remainder of the demonstration.

Now move 90 degrees from the spot of your original observation.

Observe which parts of the ball are illuminated at this location.

Move another 90 degrees and observe.

Now move the final 90 degrees and observe.

Certain seasons have longer and shorter days no because of the Earth’s distance from the sun, but because of the tilt of the Earth.

 

 

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CIRCLE OF LIFE: WHERE DO MAGGOTS COME FROM?

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CIRCLE OF LIFE EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CIRCLE OF LIFE BADGE

 

 

WHERE DO MAGGOTS COME FROM?

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

One banana

Two jars

 

 

 

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Directions:

Peel the banana and put it inside one of the jars.

Now take both jars outside. Try to find an area that will receive sunlight but is covered to keep your jars from getting filled with water should it rain.

Observe your jars twice a day and document your observations.

Do this for two weeks.

 

 

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CAN YOU DIG IT: UNDERSTANDING THE ROCK CYCLE

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CAN YOU DIG IT EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CAN YOU DIG IT BADGE

 

 

UNDERSTANDING THE ROCK CYCLE

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Starburst candies

Aluminum foil

Wax paper

Toaster oven

Oven mitts

 

 

 

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Directions:

Remove the wrappers from the Starburst candies. You three candies each of three different colors.

Stack three different colors on top of each other.

Place a piece of aluminum foil on a sturdy table.

Now place a sheet of wax paper on top of the sheet of aluminum foil.

Put your stack of Starburst candies in the foil and fold the foil over so the stack of candy is covered.

Now use the heel of your hand to try and smash the candy flat. Remove the candy and observe. This represents pressure creating sedimentary rocks.

Next make another stack of candy. Make sure the colors are in the same order as your first stack.

Put a piece of wax paper in another sheet of foil. Put the stack of candy inside and fold the foil wrap the stack up.

You will need adult supervision for the next steps.

Have the parent put the stack in a toaster oven for a short time, just long enough for the candy to become malleable. Remove the candy and using an oven mitt, put pressure on the candy stack. The combination of heat and pressure will represent the forming of a metamorphic rock.

Now make another candy stack and wrap it in foil and wax paper like before.

Have the adult put this in the toaster oven for several minutes until the candy melts to liquid. Have the adult remove the candy and open the foil. Set it aside for several minutes and allow it to cool. DO NOT TOUCH THE CANDY FOR SEVERAL MINUTES AS IT WILL BE EXTREMELY HOT!

Once the melted candy hardens, this will represent our igneous rock.

 

 

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CAN YOU DIG IT: QUICK GUIDE TO COLLECTING ROCKS AND MINERALS

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CAN YOU DIG IT EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CAN YOU DIG IT BADGE

 

 

QUICK GUIDE TO COLLECTING ROCKS AND MINERALS

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Bucket for collecting rocks and minerals

Small shovel

Brush

Gloves (optional)

Index cards

 

 

 

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Directions:

Find an area that you can explore and have permission to visit. Find as many different rocks and minerals as possible. Collect them in your bucket.

Once you have a decent amount of specimens, return home and work to identify your rocks and minerals. The internet is a great resource as well as rock and mineral guides.

Now that you have identified a specimen, label the rock or mineral. You can write the name on an index card along with the date and location where the specimen was found.

After you collection grows, you will need to catalog your collection. This simply means organizing your specimens in a way that you can store and find them as needed. This may simply be numbering each specimen at first and evolving your process if needed further down the road.

Finally, you are going to want to display your favorite specimens. You can organize the rocks and minerals on a shelf or case. Be sure to include the label for each rock or mineral!

 

 

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CAN YOU DIG IT: HOW TO PERFORM A ROCK ACID TEST

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CAN YOU DIG IT EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CAN YOU DIG IT BADGE

 

 

HOW TO PERFORM A ROCK ACID TEST

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Several different rocks

A piece of limestone

Vinegar

Several glass jars or clear bowls

 

 

 

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Directions:

Place each different rock in a glass jar. Make sure the limestone is also in a glass jar.

Fill each jar with vinegar and try to cover each rock at least half way.

Allow several minutes to pass and observe what happens.

Does the vinegar react with the limestone or any of the other rocks?

 

 

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Posted On: 18 Apr

CAN YOU DIG IT: HOW ARE FOLD MOUNTAINS FORMED?

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE CAN YOU DIG IT EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: CAN YOU DIG IT BADGE

 

 

HOW ARE FOLD MOUNTAINS FORMED?

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

About a dozen towels

Two large boxes

Fold mountains are the most common type of mountain. This demonstration will give you an idea of how they are formed.

 

 

 

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Directions:

Fold the towels in half and stack them on top of each other on the floor.

Put one of the boxes on each side of the stack of towels.

Have someone push each box toward the stack of towels. The boxes will represent continental plates and the towels will represent layers of sedimentary rocks being pushed up to form our fold mountain range.

Observe what happens to the towels as the boxes move toward each other.

 

 

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Posted On: 17 Apr

Durant Road Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Durant Road Elementary School is our Spotlight School of the Week

Durant Road Elementary School

GRADE: Kindergarten
PROGRAM: Animal Detectives
Scientist: Craig Kwiatkowski

I had the pleasure of spending my Thursday at Durant Road last week and the kindergartners were such an amazing group. They requested Animal Detectives, which is a program that looks at all sorts of animals and how they similar and different from each other. Once we started, I could tell they were very knowledgeable about animals. They listed all sorts of different animals that they knew of, and it was quite a diverse list.

We started off discussing birds and what makes them such a unique group of animals. Then, they grabbed a few beaks and pecked away in search of collecting enough food to fill their nests. Through this experiment, they were able to understand how certain beaks are better able to pick up certain types of food. They quickly discovered that chopsticks were better bird beaks than clothespins. Who would have thought?!

Next, it was time to compare the differences between two wiggling little animals we find in the soil. Students dug through dirt in search for worms and beetle larva. They were such brave scientists and didn’t seem nervous at all.

One of my favorite portions of the program was when I got to bring out Pineapple, our armadillo lizard and Minnie, the ball python. The students really enjoyed having the opportunity to touch these animals and even ask the several different questions their little minds come up with. They really got a kick out of Pineapple’s name because she looks like a pineapple rather than it being that she eats it.

Lastly, we were able to make slimy sap for them to take home. I tried fooling the kids into thinking there was a fake bug inside, but they caught on to my tricks pretty quickly. Even though their bug was fake, they had a great time pretending that it was stuck in the sap and oozing out of their hands.

Thanks Ms. Wickes class for making my Thursday awesome. We hope to visit you again soon!

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Posted On: 9 Apr

OUTRAGEOUS OCEANOGRAPHY: EASY SAND SLIME RECIPE

 

 

COMPLETE FIVE OUTRAGEOUS OCEANOGRAPHY EXPERIMENTS TO EARN YOUR

SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE: OUTRAGEOUS OCEANOGRAPHY BADGE

 

 

EASY SAND SLIME RECIPE

Materials:SCIENCE FUN FOR EVERYONE SUPER SCIENTIST

Clear glue

Liquid starch

Water

Bowl

Measuring spoon

Measuring cups

Craft stick

 

 

 

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Directions:

Add ½ cup of clear glue to the bowl.

Next add in ½ cup of water and mix well with your craft stick.

Now add two or three tablespoons of sand into the glue mixture and mix well.

Add ½ cup of liquid starch and mix until your slime begins to form and begins pulling away from the side of your bowl.

Feel free to add in some small seashells for fun!

 

 

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