For the past couple of weeks, the children in 2C have been learning about what it is like to be a scientist and investigating how “Relationships between air, water, heat and land influence weather”. They have been talking about weather…what it looks like (form), what causes it (causation), and how it works (function).
To understand what causes weather and how it works, they focused on the question, “What gets things moving?” They observed several experiments in the classroom to investigate this and are learning to Predict, Observe and Explain what happened and how it relates to weather.
One of the experiments that they observed involved tying a feather, a mini paper airplane and a bit of tissue paper on separate strings and hanging them from a stand over a candle flame.
Here are a couple of their predictions.
“I predict the feather will melt.”
“I think the feather will move.”
Here is what they observed.
“The feather is moving.”
“The airplane is spinning.”
“The tissue is going around.”
Here is what they figured out as a class to explain “What gets things moving?” or in this case, “What got the feather, mini paper airplane and tissue paper moving?”
Some children thought that the wind was making the items move. Wind can do this. We shut the doors, windows, fan, etc. We looked closely for a change. The lit candle was taken away from the hanging items. We There was no movement. The lit candle was placed under them again.
“The fire is making it move.”
“It’s making it turn.”
During our conversation, the children were asked HOW the fire makes the objects move or turn, especially since the fire doesn’t touch it.
“It is pushing.”
“What is pushing?”
“But, how? What is it making hot? What is just above the candle?”
We carefully tested the air above the flame. It was indeed hot.
“What in nature gives us heat or heats up the air?”
“What do you think happens to the air when the sun heats it up?
“What do we call air that moves?”
This past Monday, 2C had the opportunity to visit the High School Science Lab to do some more investigations about “What gets things moving?” and wear the white labs coats! Two of the Grade 12s (May and Caren), Mr. Hooker, Mrs. Kobayashi, Ms. Greenfield, and Miss Lang worked with 2C in small groups to do three experiments.
To prepare, the 2C students reviewed the materials, the set-up of each experiment, and the instructions for the three experiments before heading to the lab. Next, they predicted what they thought would happen in each of the experiments. Their predictions are included below.
Monday, the students practiced their Research and Thinking Skills with the High School science teachers and students. We wanted to find out more about “What Makes Things Move?” The high school science teachers and students prepared three experiments for the Grade 2 students to perform and learn more about our central idea, “Relationships between air, water, heat and land influence the weather.”
In the first experiment, called Moving Colours, the following materials and tools were used:
beaker of cold water
Tripod and gauze
Experiment #1 Predictions:
“The water will turn purple.”
“The color will mix.”
“The water will get hot.”
To perform the experiment, the groups followed the steps below:
1. Use the small end of the spatula to add some potassium permanganate to the beaker of cold water. Try to add the potassium permanganate without mixing up the water too much.
2. Put the beaker onto a tripod and gauze. Carefully take the spatula out of the beaker.
3. Light the candle/alcohol burner and direct the flame towards the bottom of the beaker where most of the potassium permanganate is.
The children were asked to make observations and explain what was happening during the experiment. Here are some to their ideas:
“The purple is going up.”
“The color is going down.”
“It’s going around and around and around…”
“I think it’s mixing.”
“Why do you think this is happening? Do you remember what happened in the other experiment we did in the classroom?” The children applied their new understandings to a new experiment.
“I think the water is getting hot.”
“It’s making the color go up.”
“How is it doing this? It is not touching the beaker of water.”
“It makes the air hot?”
“The water’s hot?”
The air above the candle was hot. The metal and the beaker of water were carefully tested by the teacher too. They were also hot.
“It goes around cause it’s hot.”
In the second experiment, called Whirling Spirals, the following materials and tools were used:
stand and string/tape
paper spiral sheet
an electric lamp
Experiment #2 Predictions
“The paper will burn.”
“The paper will whirl.”
“What makes you think this?”
“because that is what happened in the other experiments.”
To perform the experiment, the steps below were followed:
1. Cut out a paper spiral along the lines drawn on the spiral sheet.
2. Attach the spiral from the X mark to some string with some tape. Tape the other end of the string to a metal stand.
3. Put a lamp underneath the spiral with the bulb facing upwards. Don’t let the paper touch the bulb.
4. Turn on the lamp and observe what happens to the spiral.
The students described what was happening to the air above the lamp? Here are some of their ideas:
“The paper is swirling.”
“It’s going in circles.”
“It goes fast, then slow.”
“It’s going faster.”
“Why do you think it is spinning around?”
“What makes you say that?”
“Like the fire.”
In the third experiment, called Tea Bag Rockets, the following materials and tools were used:
Experiment #3 Predictions
“The teabag will burn.”
“I think the teabag will go up.”
“What makes you say that?”
“I thought that cause it’s called Teabag Rocket.”
To conduct the experiment the groups followed the steps below:
1. Take your teabag and carefully remove the label and staple holding the string onto the bag.
2. Open out the bag and empty the tea into the bin.
3. Use the scissors to cut a straight edge for each end of the bag.
4. Open up the bag to make a cylinder shape and stand this up on your heatproof mat.
5. Light the bag on the top edge and let the bag burn to the bottom.
“The teabag burned.”
“The smoke went up.”
The very bottom of the teabag was supposed to fly up, but it didn’t. Sometimes, experiments don’t work, so the groups tried again. This time…
“It went up!”
“Why do you think this happened?”
“It was on fire.”
“It got hot.”
“So, what get’s things moving?”
“What else? What gets things moving outside?”