science experiment ideas needed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BASAM, May 18, 2008.

  1. BASAM

    BASAM Comrade

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    May 18, 2008

    As the end of the year is near and the kids are getting crazy. I am trying to think of things that will keep them engaged so I want to try and do two experiments a week. I need ideas so what is your favorite (simple and cheap) experiment? Thanks.
     
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  3. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    May 18, 2008

  4. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    May 18, 2008

    One fun thing is an experiment to see how many drops of water will sit on a penny. I used the five step scientific process with this. I divided the class into 5-6 groups. Each needs a medicine dropper (they should be identical), a cup of water, a penny, and writing supplies. First you state the problem: How many drops of water will sit on the penny without overflowing onto the desk? Second step - form a hypothesis. Have each student write down privately the number they think and then share their guess with the rest of their group. Third design the experiment: How high to hold the dropper, counting silently as the drops fall, deciding on the heads or tails side of the penny, considering how worn the penny is, etc. Fourth - each student drops water onto the penny while other members of the group count the drops and record the data. Finally, they form the conclusion: Did the results agree with their hypothesis?

    Butterfly bracelet. ! pipe cleaner, 1 white pony bead to represent the egg, 1 red pony bead to represent the head of the caterpillar, 3 green pony beads to represent the caterpillar's body, a glitter bead to represent the chrysalis (I used a brown bead--Hungry Caterpillar book), and 1 butterfly bead at the end.
    Water cycle bracelet:
    Each child will need a piece of gimp or string or pipe cleaner and six beads-light blue for rain, green for grass, dark blue for a puddle, yellow for the sun, clear for evaporation and white for a cloud.
    Story: One day the rain started to come down from the sky. It landed on the grass. The raindrops made a puddle. The sun came out and warmed up the puddle. The droplets evaporated and went into the sky. so many raindrops got together that they make a cloud. Then the rain fell from the cloud. It landed on the grass. The children move the beads as the story is told.
    Water travels in a cycle, yes it does
    (use pointer finger to make a big circle)

    Water travels in a cycle, yes it does
    (repeat finger circle)

    It goes up as evaporation
    (move hands up to the sky)

    Forms clouds as condensation
    (make a cloud overhead with arms)

    Then comes down as precipitation, yes it does!
    (sprinkle with fingers while bringing arms down in front of you)


    ALKA SELTZER ROCKETS. (you can get empty film canisters from ---one-hour photo ---Wal-mart ---photo shops) This is an outside project. Fuji film canister – the kind where the lid fits inside the canister. The others don’t work.
    1. Optional: Make a cone and tape it to the top of the canister.
    2. Fill the film canister ½ full with warm water.
    3. Put in ¼ tablet of Alka Seltzer – no more
    4. Snap the lid tightly into the canister, turn it over on a hard surface and stand back. The lid is on the hard surface. The sodium bicarbonate will make the canister launch into the air. If you vary the temperature of the water, your rocket will shoot to different heights. The warmer the water, the higher it will go.
    5. This was a fun and educational projects. Students had a blast.

    Watch fruit flies multiply. Put a piece of overripe banana in a glass gallon jar or plastic pop bottle and watch (entire life cycle of fruit flies complete in two weeks ---eggs, larvae, pupae, and fruit fly) When you see 3 or 4 flies cover the opening with a paper towel use a rubber band to make the paper towel tight. Than put a spider in the jar and watch him eat the fruit flies.
     
  5. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

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    May 19, 2008

    sciencespot.net is the best!
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    May 19, 2008

    My favorite is making a volcano with vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. After reading another post I thought of the water with some pepper sprinkled on top and then the dab of soap makes it disperse- surface tension. Also kinda science is the bubble art. Blowing bubbles and putting paper over the cup, which you blow into using a straw. The cup has soap, water, and food coloring in it. Another cool one is "making a jet." Tie a string down the middle of the classroom, then slide the straw so the string is inside the straw, take a half filled balloon and tape it to the straw, let the balloon go, and it flies down the string. Its a ton of fun. At any rate I have done all of these with preschool kids. So you could probably expand them and make them more complex for 2nd graders.
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    May 19, 2008

    That is a great site, jsfowler! Thanks for sharing it!!
     
  8. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    May 20, 2008

    We did the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment at Head Start and the kids loved it. Very messy! We had a great time going outside and watching the Coke "explode".

    I did that with my students just before I had to leave to student teach for Special Education. They loved it. When I visited today the boys were still talking about how the Coke "blew up".

    It would be a great way to introduce the scientific method too. :)
     
  9. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    May 21, 2008

    Take a bar of Ivory Soap, cut about a forth of it off and then stick it in the microwave (lug it out of the teacher's lounge). Watch what happens as a class. Great disscussions can come from asking why do you think it does that?
     
  10. educator

    educator Rookie

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    May 21, 2008

    Go to your local bookstore. There is a book called 730 Easy Science Experiments With Everyday Materials written by Richard Chruchill, Louis V Loeschnig and Muriel Mandell. The ISBN for the comb bound edition is 13:978-1-57912-499-1.

    It covers everything from how straws work, putting an egg in a bottle, rock candy, soap, balance, sound, surface tension, light, earthquakes, time, astrology, soil, gravity, weather etc.

    I'm using the book as a hands on introduction to science for my temporary kindergarten class. In my vast experience (I'm in my second week at this assignment) :eek::confused::help: we've tackled two simple experiments. The little ones love the hands on it allows, and a few even listen to some of the technical stuff. They've seen the water cycle at work (sterno, ice, a bowl of water and an upside down clear glass container) and now every time they see condensation on their juice cups they get excited.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 21, 2008

    Every thing I've thought of is either in the sites that have been posted or a little too dangerous for second graders. I'll keep thinking and post if I come up with any ideas. Good luck. There's a lot of good stuff already posted.
     
  12. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    May 21, 2008

    I've been using Janice Van Cleave books.
     
  13. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    May 22, 2008

    You can do the "raindrops" experiment. Ask the class if they think raindrops are all the same size. Then take a coffee can or the like, cover it with panty hose, and then sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. Hold the can out in the rain for a few seconds and check it out. Pretty neat! My k-2 class found it pretty interesting and I never knew "giant raindrops" were actually that tiny!
     

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