Science Update April 2019

  • Grade 1

During the month of April, students will finish their explorations of sound with the investigation “How Sound Travels.” They will observe, record, ask questions and communicate how sound travels through sold, liquid and gas.  Tjeu will use stethoscopes placed in water to find out whether sound can travel through water.  Also, they will use them without placing them in water in order to learn how sound travels through the air.

They will design a device (string telephones) that would allow them to communicate with each other in distance by using the concept of sound. They will listen through string telephones to find out how well sound travels through solids.

The above-described explorations will help students to determine how is sound different when heard through sold, air and water.

  • Grade 2

Students are continuing with the analysis of the story “Jess Makes Hair Gel” that was described in the blog post for March 2019.  They made a gel by using Knox Unflavored Gelatine.  They observed how the gelatine behaves when mixed with water, the mixture heated in the microwave and colled in the refrigerator.   They brainstormed the ideas what properties need to have toothpaste and what ingredients would be the best to use when designing a toothpaste mixture.  They will continue working on this activity.  They will observe and record different ingredients and their properties.

Students got great ideas from the above-mentioned story and now they are asking “How is pudding made?” They will have an opportunity to learn what are the properties of ingredients used for making pudding.

Another activity that will be introduced represents a mixture of Elmer’s glue and Epsom salt.  This mixture will produce plastic. Students will form the plastic in a long roll.  They will measure how long they can make it without it breaking with a metric ruler (in centimeters).  After that, they will make a ball out of the plastic and try to bounce it off a hard surface.

  • Grade 3

Students are continuing the study of balancing forces. They performed an experiment called “The Strength of a Magnetic Field.”  Their task was to find out how does the number of magnets affect the distance a paper clip jumps to them.  They measure and record the distance in centimeters.  They did three trials and analyzed the collected data.

They started to read the book “What My Sister Taught Me About Magnets” (Amplify Science Program).  Students have learned so much about the magnets that they were able to point out a mistake in the book related to the magnetic attraction.

Next, they will measure the force of attraction between two magnets.  They will use a balance and large washers for this investigation.  They will observe what happens to the force of attraction as the distance between the two magnets increases.   They will graph the collected data.  They will make a line graph.  They will learn that the greater the distance between two magnets, the less of the magnetic force.

  • Grade 4

Students are continuing the study of the transfer of energy and information. they designed a circuit tester and tested materials for conductors and insulators of electricity. Also, they tested the same materials with a magnet in order to find out if they are attracted to a magnet, or not.  They recorded their collected data in two separate charts and they analyzed them.  They recorded their collected data in two sperate charts and they analyzed them.  They learned that all metals are conductors of electricity but not all metals are attracted to a magnet.

Last week, they added a switch to a simple circuit (made of one lightbulb, one battery, and two wires).  They tried to figure out if it makes any difference where is the switch placed within the circuit.

Next, they will build electric circuits, parallel and series with two light builds and one battery and with one light bulb and two batteries.

They will learn that series circuits are wired in one loop and parallel circuits are wired in two or more loops (each light bulb or battery is wired separately).  By building parallels and series circuits with two lightbulbs and one battery, students will observe in which circuit will the lightbulbs burn brighter and also, what happens to the circuit when they take out one lightbulb.

By building parallel and series circuits with one lightbulb and two batteries, they will discover why it is better to wire two batteries in a series circuit (like in a flashlight) and not in parallel circuit.