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Grasshoppers & Bluebirds Science Week 2019

Recption children became super-scientists this week, both inside and outside the classroom. We had a variety of fun science experiences (magnets, jelly, slime etc.) set up in the outdoor area for child initiated play and each day we had a focussed adult-led session with a different science experiment. We started the week by considering who are scientists? What do they do? We showed some pictures and discussed what jobs the children thought they did and took the opportunity to challenge any stereotypes and misconceptions. We revisited this on Wednesday when we discussed the death of Steven Hawking.

We kicked off Science Week with our buddy session with Year 3, sharing the Happy Nappy experiment. The children worked in cross-class pairs to cur the padding out of a disposable nappy, put it into a bag to pull it apart and release the super-absorbent crystals. They then transferred the crystals into a transparent cup and added water. The crystals absorbed all the water and turned into a transparent gel which swelled to many times it original size. The children marked the level and put them on a sunny windowsill then predicted what would happen. Predictions ranged from – ‘the crystals will explode like a volcano’, to ‘they will shrink because the water will dry up’. When we checked back at the end of the week, we found that the level had gone down so the prediction that the water has evaporated, looks like it is the most likely, We will keep them on the windowsill and see if we can get back to the dry crystals we had at the start of the experiment (a reversible change).  

On Tuesday we made Skittles rainbows by adding warm water (dissolving), On Wednesday tried some Milk Magic. We explored how the globules of fat in milk make drops of food colouring hold together, and how adding a drop of washing up liquid can break them apart, making the colouring swirl together. On Thursday we asked the question, are all bubbles spheres? and we tried making a square bubble wand to test the theory. Finally, on Friday, we looked at precipitation (which we discussed included rain, sleet, hail or snow).

We made a shaving foam cloud, which floated on top of a bowl of water, and added blue food colouring. Once the liquid became too heavy for the cloud it fell though as rain. This continued for some time. We noticed that the more food colouring we added, the heavier the rainstorm. We joined in a Go Noodle dance about the water cycle and used a balloon to show how static electricity of the clouds rubbing together made the thunder and lightning.

We made the most of the stormy weather by going on a puddle walk. We investigated how the rain was collected from the roof guttering and swirled down the pipe, which we dammed up then released for a big whoosh of water. We measured the puddles size and depth using rulers and looked at the way the water spiralled down the drain. We even had a go at tasting the rain!

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