Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scientific Inquiry Unit Final



Time to tell me the answer to the essential question for the Scientific Inquiry Unit on buoyancy, "Why do some things float while others sink?

Salt Water Golf Ball Float



A great experiment coupled with a catchy song. Thanks class and thanks Animoto.

This is the last experiment of the unit on Scientific Inquiry. We covered every objective and now all that is left is the Boat Regatta.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Boat Regatta


It is time for the annual Boat Regatta. Here is your opportunity to use all you know about floating and sinking to create your own boat. Here are the rules:
1. You may only use glue and craft sticks.
2. Decorating the boat is okay, but not necessary.
3. Boats must be no larger than 10 inches in any direction.
4. When the boat sinks or breaks apart, it is out of the contest.
5. Everyone is required to make a boat.

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ivory Boat Sink

After the students demonstrated their skill at creating soap boats that floated, I challenged them to create a soap boat that would sink. With this experiment the students had to carve a boat shape they thought would sink. Many thought that it would be no problem to sink a bar of ivory, all they needed was to put a hole in the bottom.







The experiment surprised most of the students, they discovered that Ivory soap would not sink in the water. Here is why.

Soap Boat Float

Every year we do a project where students bring a bar of non-Ivory soap. They carve the soap to resemble a boat. The object is for them to make a boat that will float.

Here are some of the students carving their boats.




After they carve their boats, I ask them why they chose to carve them the way they did. Here are some of the responses.







Most of the boats did float. Boats that had holes in the bottom, or that had low walls on the side did tend to sink. It was demonstrated that the soap would all sink if pushed under water. Afterwards, we discussed why some of the boats floated while others didn't.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Making Aluminum Foil Boats Float

video

Did you know that a 4x4 inch foil boat can carry 1/3 of the amount of marbles a 6x6 in foil boat can carry? When you find the amount of cubic inches for each, the 6x6 boat has almost 3 times as much volume! This means that big boats can hold much more than smaller boats.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Karana's House from Island of the Blue Dolphin


Here is the winner of Extreme Home Makeover: Karana's House. The white paper rolls represent whale ribs. Notice there is no door, Karana dug out a hole to crawl in and out of. The theme of the story was Don't Panic. Karana was an excellent role model for not panicking when things go wrong.



For this excellent physical representation of Karana's house, Slendy earns the Blogging Tiger Award for Reading. Congratulations, Slendy!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Understanding Background (Prior) Knowledge

The reason we identify background knowledge in our model of the Scientific Method is so we can stimulate our brain and prepare it to accept new knowledge. It is important to think about things we know so we can connect them to things we want to learn.

Today I want you to identify what you have learned so far about floating and sinking. Look back to the past experiments and demonstrations including the testing of objects to see if they floated and your experiences with the clay boats. What have you learned so far about floating and sinking? I would like you to identify five things you have learned. Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling in complete sentences.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Working on Subjects and Predicates

The class is working on identifying subjects and predicates. They had to take a simple subject and a simple predicate and create complete subjects and complete predicates. I gave them five simple sentences and here are some of the sentences they came up with.








Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Clay Boats

Clay Boat Float

The students are trying to create shapes that will hold the most marbles. Through the course of the activity, I am hoping they come to the realization that a normal boat shape is not the best shape for floating marbles.

video

Here is an example of a canoe shaped boat.

video

Another group created an oval shape to hold the marbles.

video

Miguel and Yengshi took an early lead with 27 marbles. Can you identify why their boat held more marbles than the first two boats?

video

Here is Miguel explaining why he chose his shape. Do you think he chose the best shape? Do you think there is another shape that will work better? How would you find the best shape?