Saturday, February 03, 2007

Science: the subject with the most prep and cleanup

Mary's second grade science book included an experiment that she wanted to replicate. We enthusiastically bought 3 different bird seeds, labeled them, and set them out in the backyard to see which one the birds liked best. Her project seemed doomed though when, within an hour the evil squirrels knocked over, first the blend with dried fruits, and then the one with sunflower seeds to gobble as much as he could hold. Mary went out to try to repair the trays, but soon the squirrel was back. Before we knew it all 3 trays were empty. I feel badly for her, especially since she went to so much trouble making a chart to record her data. We might have to simply notice which seed the squirrel did not eat first- the cheap one with lots of millet in the mix.

I have never been one for setting up science experiments in the kitchen, but I am making a lot of effort to try to replicate the experiments in Will's science book. So far we have made rain from steam, poured air, and made a scale using a clothes hanger, Tim's socks, and all my teaspoons (as weights). While I am more apt to enjoy setting everyone on the sofa to read history or stories, science does seem to be more fun, with all the children wanting to participate.


MonicaR said...

A lot of times I save the science experiments (in the fall and spring anyway) until the publics get home from school. ALL of the kids love it, every single last one.

Many times our experiments don't work the way they should, then I tell them that some unknown variable must have messed us up. By far the most favorite was the mixing of baking soda and vinegar - - and when we let the worms out into specially prepared soil to see which they liked best.

It is a pain though - that prep and cleanup. lol.

Dana said...

I love science. I cannot believe how much my 3 year old learns because of how hands on it all is. So far this semester, we have focuses on geology and he continually makes models of mountains and earthquakes and uses all the vocabulary we've been learning. It is quite incredible.

I am getting tired of picking playdough out of the cracks in the floor, though. Small sacrifice in the name of learning, though, I guess.