By now I am sure you have heard from your child some of the fun lessons we have been doing in the science lab. Here is an update of what has been happening in the Kincaid Science Lab.
As part of their STEM project, the Kindergarten classes visited the science lab this month to create “pens” for their animals using marshmallows and toothpicks. Each student had a stuffed animal that they brought to school. In the science lab they decided upon a shape for a pen to keep their animal in. Next using toothpicks and marshmallows they built the fence for their pen.
Kindergarteners learned how blubber helps Polar Animals survive in the cold Arctic environments. We used “blubber” mittens to see how blubber insulates against the cold. The students put their hand in a bag that had a layer of Crisco between it and another bag. They then put the hand in the “Blubber” mitten in cold water and their bare hand in cold water and felt the difference. The hand in the “Blubber” mitten stayed nice and warm!
In February, the kindergarteners will be coming to the science lab for a lesson on hand washing and teeth brushing. Later this spring, they will learn the characteristics of living organisms and sort items into living and non-living groups.
First Grade visited the Science Lab to design their homemade drums as part of their STEM project. On January 30th, they will return to the science lab to make and test the drums. We will incorporate some art into our STEM project and decorate the outside of the drums.
The next unit first grade will study is Light and Shadows. We will experiment with flashlights to learn what is needed to create a shadow and to see how an object can have different shaped shadows depending upon the angle of the light.
The Kincaid second graders recently completed a lesson on the steps of the Scientific Method. Ask your second grader how many drops of water will fit on the top of a penny before they roll off. You might be surprised at the answer!
We are now learning all about the stars and the moon. Students made their own constellations and named them. Over the next month they will be learning about shadows, what causes day and night, and the phases of the moon.
Third grade just finished a lesson on Conservation and Recycling in preparation for the CRCT. We will spend the next month doing activities to learn about heat energy. Your third grader will be performing experiments to learn how heat travels between different states of matter. They will learn the difference between radiation, convection and conduction. Ask them to tell you about our experiment with red (hot) and blue (cold) water.
Fourth grade has been studying Light and Sound. In December we learned about concave and convex lenses, used mirrors to study how light can be reflected and experimented with prism to refract light. Then in January the fourth graders experimented with sound. We used sound bottles, rubber band “guitars”, and straws to learn how sounds have different pitches.
Next, the Kincaid fourth graders will be studying the Moon and Stars. We will begin by making constellation viewers and then move on to study the phases of the moon.
Fifth grade (1st-3rd quarters)
The fifth graders will make their hair stand on end when they experiment with static electricity. They will learn what is needed to make a complete circuit that allows electricity to flow through. Students will use batteries, light bulbs and wires to make series and parallel circuits. See if your child knows which type of circuit is used to wire a house. They will also learn what items are good conductors of electricity and what materials make good insulators.
We will be making molecules out of pretzels and marshmellows and learning about density. Additional activities in the science lab will include experiments to see physical and chemical changes. Most of our experiments use items commonly found in your house so you can ask them to show you some of our experiments.
Classification and Heredity:
We will learn about taxonomy by classifying “aliens” from the planet “Pamishan” based upon their appearance. During our science lab time we will also learn about inherited and acquired characteristics, what a genotype and a phenotype are, and do an activity where each student will come up with different genotypes for facial features and then draw the face based upon the genotype/phenotype that they came up with.
Constructive and Destructive Forces:
Students will do activities to learn about erosion, volcanoes, earthquakes, and deltas. Students will use stream tables to show erosion caused by streams and rain and the formation of deltas. They will also study the effects of waves on beach erosion and learn how a reef can lessen the force of the waves and therefor reduce beach erosion.
Cells and Microorganisms:
For this unit the students are learning how to use microscopes. They will make their our own slides of onion skins and cheek cells to see some of the differences between animal and plant cells. They will also learn about helpful and harmful microorganisms and test areas of the school to see which are the germiest.