Friday, September 4, 2009

Mad Scientist...Week 3

Tina and I have come to the conclusion that although the boys are learning and having a good time, we might actually be getting more out of it. Chemistry is interesting stuff! I think if my high school science teacher was able to explain the periodic table and the scientific method using the juvenile, living books we are using AND if he had us do the cool experiments we are having our boys do, I may have actually learned something! I am not as intimidated as I had been before we started. That is a good feeling! This week we read a simple explanation about the scientific method scientists use to perform their experiments. We also learned solutes + solvents=solutions. Below is Magnus' narration... Magnus narrated while I wrote it down. This is working really well for us!

Thane's narration includes a visual representation of a molecule and an atom...
For our experiments this week we watched molecules in motion.

Experiment One: The boys were really involved in the first one. We gave them a cup full of room temperature water and had them observe them as we placed 2-3 drops of food coloring into them.
Next we walked them through the scientific method. For the final part of the experiment, we placed a cup full of hot water and a cup full of ice water in front of them and asked what they thought would happen. They hypothesized that the food coloring would spread faster in the hot water and spread slower in the ice water.
The experiment was conducted. You know what? Their hypothesis was right on!

When asked why that happened, Ameer and Thane said it was because the "cold water made it freeze" and Magnus answered, "Because the hot water molecules are moving faster than the cold". Aren't our boys brilliant! It's so exciting when they all use their brains to figure stuff out.

Experiment Two: We placed one tablespoon of water (added food coloring) in one test tube and one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol (with food coloring) in a second test tube. We asked the boys what they thought would happen when we placed them together.

Magnus: The water would float on top of the alcohol and make 2 tablespoons of liquid.

Thane: It would create 3 tablespoons of liquid.

Ameer: They would mix together and make 2 tablespoons of liquid.

Tamir: They would make 2 tablespoons of liquid.
So we poured them into each other...

nothing. It didn't work right. It was suppose to only create 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid, but created 2. So, I guess Magnus, Ameer, and Tamir were correct. Tina and I conducted the experiment again but still got 2 tablespoons of liquid.

Experiment Three: We gave the boys a coffee filter with a drop of red, blue, and yellow food coloring mixed together.
They then placed the tip of the filter into water.

Look what happened...
The colors separated and climbed up the filter. Pretty cool.

Needless to say, we are having SO MUCH FUN with science this year! It really helps to have a friend hold you accountable. Thanks Tina!


krazzymommy said...

This looks like SO much fun!!!

Your Friend said...

Brittney, you don't know me BUT we have a mututal friend Sara Wood. I live in Franklin, TN. This is my first year homeschooling and frankly reading your blog is inspiring and at the same time leaving me filled with feelings of great inadequacy! Oh LORD can I do this???!!!! I can't even decide on curriculum! Tell me my brain is not going to explode. You're the coolest HS mom ever AND you have time to blog! My Boys are River (10) and Rocco (7).... oh and I'm Edye. Hope to communicate more with you soon.... Oh and I don't blog (at least not yet).... sorry! (BTW, Rocco my 7 year old is wanting to take fencing! I think it's cool!)

doyle said...

Sounds like you're having fun, and you have two bright young men!

Just a wee suggestion from a science teacher--things sometimes go differently than planned in science.

It didn't work right. It was suppose to only create 1 1/2 tablespoons of liquid, but created 2.

You repeated it, the same thing happened. If you repeated it 100 times, perhaps the same thing still would have happened. The experiment worked fine, but your prediction was wrong. Why was the prediction wrong? Might depend on your hypothesis, the "lab" conditions, etc.

So encourage your lads to challenge the prediction! Science works best when predictions fail.