Science Update February 2019

  • Grade 1

Students finished the study of light and started with planning and conducting investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.

During last week’s science lesson, students explored their ability to discriminate sounds (Drop Challenge).  They listened to sounds made by objects dropped into a drop chamber and attempted to identify each object from its sound.  Also, they made a kazoo by using a piece of the paper towel roll, wax paper, and a rubber band.  They had to describe how does the kazoo work (how is the sound produced).

Next, students will identify a variety of sounds sources and receivers.  They will observe that sound originates from vibrating sources.  They will be using a tuning fork.  They will hit the tuning fork with a mallet and listen to the sound produced. After that, they will hold a ping-pong ball attached on a string near the vibrating tuning fork to explore how sound can make matter vibrate (movement of the ping-pong ball).

They will learn about the pitch of the sound.  They will compare high-  low- and medium- pitched sounds by making musical cups of different sizes and designing rubber-band guitars with rubber bands of different thickness.

  • Grade 2

Students are continuing the study of properties of materials. This time, they will conduct three investigations related to the observation of the properties of water.

The first investigation is called “Looking at Water” During this investigation, students will compare how water interacts with four materials: paper towels, waxed paper, aluminum foil, and writing (copy) paper. They will try to answer the question: What happens when water gets dropped on different surfaces?

The second investigation is called “Surface Tension.”  Students will discover how many drops of water they can place on a penny before the water spills off.  This way they will be introduced to surface tension as a property of water.  They will try to change water’s surface tension by separately adding soap to a dome of water on a penny.  This time, they will try to answer the questions:  What shape does water make on a flat surface? How can you change the surface tension of plain water?

The third investigation is called “Water on a Slope.”  Students will place drops of water on a sloped surface in order to observe the flow of water downhill.  They will notice how changing the size of the water beads and increasing slope affect the flow.  They will try to answer the question: How does altering or changing the slope or quantity of water change the speed at which it flows downhill?

  • Grade 3

Students will start the unit “Interacting Forces” They will plan and conduct an investigation to provide eveidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.  They will ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.

Students will explore properties of permanent magnets.  Use a magnet to detect objects made from iron.  Explore the force of magnetism through a variety of materials.  Find out that objects that contain iron stick to permanent magnets; other objects do not.  Discover that two magnets will either attract or repel one another, depending on their orientation. The agent responsible for this behavior is the magnetic force.

Observe that steel objects in contact with a magnet become temporarily magnetic themselves. This induced magnetism disappears when the steel object separates from the magnet.

  • Grade 4

Students started a new unit “Transfer of Energy and Information.”  At this time, they will:

  • build and compare simple electric circuits with a focus on how connections are made ( Lighting a Bulb Challenge- using a wire, one D-Cell, and one bulb; Making a Motor Run Challenge – instead of lightbulb students will use a motor);
  • identify the essential components of an electric circuit and understand their functions (Also, students will try to think about if an electric circuit is a system, or not.);
  • demonstrate evidence of the flow of electricity (They will add a switch to the simple circuit to control the flow of electricity.);
  • identify the changes of energy;
  • identify materials that are conductors and insulators of electricity (Students will build a circuit tester that will be used for testing materials for conductors and insulators of electricity.);
  • draw pictures and schematic diagrams to represent electric circuits and communicate understanding.

Few robes about electric circuits that are representing argumentation in science will be added to the study

  • Important Information for the Parents of Grades 3-5

Again, it is the time of the year when we are starting to prepare for the upcoming science fair – Wednesday, June 12th and Thursday, June 13th, 2019.  (Please save the date). During the month of February, students of grades 3-5 will receive science fair project packets which will include necessary information (dates) to be followed.

There will be a meeting for parents of grades 3 about the science fair projects on Thursday, February 28th at 8:30 AM in the auditorium.  The letter about the meeting will be sent home February 7th.