Monday, March 31, 2014

Mad Science Monday: Sink or Float?

   Yay! I think Spring has finally arrived.... wait, let me not say that too loud around here!!  The last time the weather warmed up a bit (and I was happy to see grass again), it only happened to be a big tease, as Mother Nature laughed at us and said,  "Just Kidding" and dumped snow on us again this past Saturday. Not cool Mother Nature...not cool.
   Anyhow, the weather warmed up a little today and the snow is melting once again...
   As Spring and Easter arrive, there are tons ( and I do mean TONS) of great ideas that are out there as far as learning activities for kids. I have lots on my Pinterest boards, as well as a few ideas of my own that I hope to be able to get to this coming month.
   This past weekend, as I was thinking of a Mad Science Monday activity, I wanted to do something a little different than what we have been doing. So, today, instead of mixing stuff together, we did some investigative type of work, complete with making predictions and doing an experiment to see if the predictions were correct.
   I chose the topic "Sink or Float?", and I read the little munchkin a book called "Floating and Sinking", to familiarize her with both terms and concepts. I refrained from telling her outright that heavy things will most likely sink and light things will most likely not. I wanted her to conduct her experiment and find out on her own, what items would sink and what items would float.
    I took a few plastic eggs of two different sizes and placed random items from around the house in each one. I filled a small tub with water and very little blue food coloring for an added effect. The eggs have small holes and I used small strips of packaging tape to cover up the holes so the water wouldn't seep in. She opened up each egg and I had her predict whether the egg would sink or float when we put it in the water.
    I had her draw each egg (in the correct color and size) onto a sheet so that she could refer back to it, after the experiment.
Here were her predictions:
    She dropped each egg into the water and we discussed whether her prediction on that egg was correct. She discovered that most of the eggs floated, despite her predictions. I think she thought all of the eggs were going to end up floating, until she dropped in the small pink one (which was filled with decorative vase fillers). She was shocked that one egg actually sank to the bottom!
   Then she wanted to crack each egg open and see if the items inside would sink or float. And to her surprise, some items did sink (like our letter tiles) once they were outside of the egg!
   And of course, this led to some coveted water play ... which kept her busy while I made dinner.  And since she's a little sick, I poured in some Vicks Vapor Bath while she played, for an added sensory experience!

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