Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Focusing my Pre-school Physicists

One morning I found my kids filling containers with water and slinging them onto the patio.  When I asked why, they said, "We're doing experiments."  After we insisting on our morning routine, I asked some questions to focus our activities.  "What kind of experiments?"  Answer, "Water."  "What do you want to know about water?"  Answer, " Does it get bigger or smaller?"  Me, "Bigger or smaller when what?" 

Define the Variables

 Now, I have no idea why my three and four-year-olds' were asking these questions.  Maybe they talked about it in pre-school?  Once I knew our variables, I started making some suggestions.  Let's get a container for water.  We dug through the scrap bag and found this bottle.   We marked the water level.

Then, we eliminated the air variable.

Define a procedure

Since it was so cold outside, I guessed that they were wondering about temperature.  Do we want to learn about putting energy in, or taking energy out?  "Putting in."  My little scientists thought we should just heat the bottle on the stove.  I suggested that we heat the water by setting it in a hot bath of boiling water.  First, we boiled the water.

Then we placed our bottle of water inside.

And here was the result.  Yes, heating water makes it expand.  

It's fun to see how excited the kids are when they get to bring their ideas to fruition.


While were in the kitchen, we did this quick add on.

We also did a great demonstration about weather that I found on pinterest.  Here's a link to the original post.   

What have your kids or students been interested in lately?

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I can't wait to hear what you have to say! Thanks for sharing.