In our first week back after lockdown, Grasshoppers and Bluebirds 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 kicked off Science Week with an experiment we were going to observe over the whole week - How can we stop an apple from going brown? We cut two apples in half and put them each in a bowl. The first was the control - nothing was added, the apple was just open to the air all week. The second had lemon juice added to the cur surface, the third had plain cold water and the fourth had salty water. The children predicted what would happen - 'It will turn yukky!', 'It will change into an orange!' and then recorded their observations across the week, using hand lenses for close up observations.
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 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.
On Friday, we ended with a whole class practical- the Happy Nappy experiment. The children worked in pairs to cut 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 the following 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).
We made the most of the windy weather by making kites and we went on a Spring walk to look for signs of seasonal change, using hand lenses and binoculars to observe them really closely.