SCHOOL: Bugg Elementary
GRADE LEVEL: 3rd
PROGRAM: A Matter of Science
INSTRUCTOR: Blake Steiner
Scientist Blakes’s Experience:
Today I was invited to Bugg Elementary in Raleigh to visit the third graders and explore with them how matter can change from one state to another. The particular program I taught, A Matter of Science, is one of my personal favorites to teach, and in my opinion one of the absolute very best that Science Fun for Everyone has to offer.
I especially enjoy the introduction to the program, because the kids are always very familiar with the sort of physics we’re talking about. For example, we discussed how you add or take away heat to go from solid ice to liquid water, then to water vapor, and back again. Because everybody has observed these processes in their day to day life before, everyone got the chance to contribute and ask questions and get their brains really thinking about how the world around us works.
So after I showed the kids the sort of things we’d be studying, I was excited to tell them that the first experiment was to make ice cream for them all to eat right there in the classroom! Because we had an extra large group of young scientists, the cheers of joy were almost overwhelming. Turning liquid milk and cream into solid ice cream never fails to capture their attention.
While the ice cream was finishing freezing, we did a gas experiment where we popped plastic bags with vinegar/baking soda bombs, and churned out a couple dozen vials of disappearing ink for everybody to take home. At the end, we recapped over the lesson while we happily ate the chocolate ice cream we had made just an hour before. The enthusiasm of the children at Bugg Elementary, as well as the charming sculpture/mural on the side of the school left a wonderful impression on me, and I would be happy to return there to do more science fun.