March Science Fair Update

  • Grade 1

     Students are continuing the study of sound.  They started to learn about the pitch of the sound by using vibrating rulers and extra jumbo craft sticks (sound produced by tapping).  They learned how to play a song by changing the extension of the ruler (different number of centimeters) or extra jumbo craft stick from the table.  They were able to figure out that the song they were playing was “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” 

     Through described investigation, students observe how does length affect the pitch of the sound.  Another investigation related to the same concept (how length affects pitch) represents the use of kalimba and xylophone.  Students will try to put the metal bars (5) of kalimba and the metal tubes (5) of xylophone in order from producing the highest pitch to the lowest pitch. 

They will learn that the only objects vibrate slowly an have a low pitch and the short objects vibrate quickly and have a high pitch. 

     The investigations related to the pitch of the sound that required to make musical cups of different sizes as well as designing rubber band guitars remained from February and will be done during the month of March. 

  • Grade 2

     Students will learn about the water cycle within the unit “Properties of Materials” They will read, analyze and write a summary  (in their science notebooks) Of an article related to the topic (the water cycle).  

After that, they will read and analyze the book “Jess Makes Hair Gel.”  The book represents the story of a boy who sets out to make his own hair gel.  At first, he identifies the properties of good hair gel and then tests various ingredients to see which ones have these properties. While conducting tests on each ingredient, the boy realizes that he needs to expand the list of properties of good hair gel.  This allows him to solve his problem and make great hair gel.  This book has an engaging context to model the steps of the design process that students use in the unit “Properties of Material.” 

     At the end of the story, the boy is thinking about the recipes for making homemade toothpaste.  Students will try to think about which ingredients would be best to use for designing a tooth past mixture.  They will need to decide which properties they want for their toothpaste to have.  When designing a toothpaste mixture, students will choose the ingredients from the given list (mint, cornstarch, flour, baking soda, oil, cinnamon).  They will observe and record the properties of the listed ingredients in order for them to judge which ingredients they would choose or not choose for making their toothpaste.

  • Grade 3

     Due to the upcoming science fair, a few lessons during the month of February were devoted to students’ learning how to set up their projects (with only one independent variable) successfully. This caused The grade to finished the unit “Inheritance and Traits” recently.  One third grade class (3-205) did pre-assessment for the unit “Interacting Forces” (Balancing Forces), and the other class (3-208) will do this on Wednesday, March 6th. 

     The investigations described in the blog for February will be completed during the month of March. This means that students will: 

  • plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object;
  • ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other;
  • explore the properties of permanent magnets;
  • use a magnet to detect objects made from iron;
  •  explore the force of magnetism through a variety of material;
  • find out that objects that contain iron stick to permanent magnets;
  • discover that two magnets will either attract or repel one another, depending on their orientation;
  • observe that steel objects in contact with a magnet become temporarily magnetic themselves.

Also, there will be a few additional probes (argumentation in science) as well as reading selections to the study of interacting forces. 

  • Grade 4

     Students are continuing the study of the transfer of energy and information.  They learned how to build a simple circuit (for different ways)  by using one D-Cell, one bulb, and one wire.  They observed how the bulb needs to be placed within the circuit in order for it to work and how to avoid making a short circuit.  Also, they learned that the transfer of energy within the closed circuit that they made is from chemical energy to electrical, to heat, to light.  

     Next, they will design a circuit tester by using the following material: one D-Cell, one battery holder, one bulb, one bulb socket, and three wires.  They will test materials for conductors and insulators of electricity.  They will learn that all metals are conductors of electricity and all non-metals are insulators of electricity.              They will use troubleshooting techniques to find out what’s wrong with a circuit. 

     They will build a simple circuit with a motor, buzzer, and alarm.  They will describe the transfer of energy within those circuits.  

     They will read and analyze the book “Systems.” The author of the book points out the importance of learning about the system because sometimes systems fail and people need to figure out how to fix them.