Science January Update 2019

  • Grade 1

Students will continue the investigations with mirrors that explore the concept of reflection.  They learned already that in order to see our reflection in an object, three things are important to have.  These things are light, shiny surfaces and flat surfaces. It is necessary to mention that during the investigations with mirrors student are learning about symmetry.  They are trying to figure out if a geometric shape is symmetrical. they are trying to see how many lines of symmetry it has.

After the study of mirror reflections, the student will continue the investigation of light with light refraction (bending light).  They will use water prism, an acrylic prism to explore colors of the spectrum (visible light). Also, they will learn the primary and secondary colors of light and how these colors compare with the primary and secondary color of pigments

  • Grade 2

Students will continue the study of properties of materials.  They will still perform a few experiments related to a physical change of matter (reversible change) where a substance can change an appearance yet remain the same substance.  Also, they will perform a chemical change of matter (irreversible change) when two or more substances are mixed and a chemical reaction occurs.  Indicators of a chemical reaction can include a change in color, a change in temperature or the production of a new substance, such as rust, or gas.  They will compare the mixture of baking soda and water with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.  They will determine which mixture can be changed back and how it can be done. They will make rust by putting steel wool in the cup filled with vinegar and also setting up a few candy experiments.

As the students are learning how to set up and analyze results of different investigations, they are learning how to measure the volume of liquids (water, vinegar) by using a tool (beaker, graduated cylinder) and metric units of measurement (milliliters-ml).

  • Grade 3

Students will be continuing the study of inheritance and traits but this time they will be looking for the influences of the environment on traits.  They will learn that not all traits are inherited, some traits are acquired.

They will examine traits of three different flamingo families and discover that their pink color is not an inherited trait but acquired.  The food that flamingos eat is responsible for their color.  They will read and analyze information gained by reading the book “How the Sparrow Learned Its Song.”

They will be setting up a fair test using celery stalks, water, and food coloring. They will learn that the green color of the celery stalks is an inherited trait but when you place celery stalks in the colored water, the color of the stalks will change, which represents an acquired trait.

During the experimentation with the celery stalks, students will learn that an experiment needs to have one independent variable (one thing that is changing) and controlled variables (things that remain the same, constant). Also in order to have a fair test, the experiment needs to be repeated at least two more times (three trials).

Note: Setting up the experiment with the celery stalks will help students with setting up their individual science fair project. The dates of the science fair will be soon announced as well ass the date of the meeting with the parents of grade 3 about the individual science fair projects.

  • Grade 4

Students will continue the investigation of the role of decomposers in the ecosystem.  They will analyze a few food webs representing forest and meadow ecosystems before starting the new unit of study called Transfer of Energy and Infomation.  The upcoming unit of study deals with electrical systems and the transfer of energy within them.

Students will make a simple circuit by using one light bulb, D-cell battery, one or two wires. Also, they will build a circuit tester (one lightbulb, D-cell battery, three wires) and test with it material for conductors and insulators of electricity. They will record their findings (evidence) and analyze them.

They will learn about different sources (D-cell battery, solar cell, wall socket) and recovers (light bulb, motor, alarm, buzzer) of electricity.

Few probes (argumentation in science) related to electricity will be used during the lessons.