Project Tuesday and Nebel A/B1, A2, A3

This fall Tuesday week is Project or Lab day. Today we worked on our first science experiment. We are, for the moment, largely following Nebel's science curriculum.  So here's a rundown of what we have covered thus far... 

A/B1- Organization and Categorization
Discussion: We walked around the house and talked about how and why things are organized into categories. 
Hands-on: We pulled out a pan of miscellaneous fake gemstones and organized them using various categories. We experimented with trying to find categories that would have no stragglers and no overlaps. We failed. We talked about Venn Diagrams and put the beads in a Venn diagram I printed out. 

A2 Solids, Liquids, and Gasses
Discussion: We talked about the 3 states of water and compared them. We walked around and discussed whether things were solid, liquid or gas. We played with sugar and discussed why it was a solid even though you can pour it. We watched a video about states of matter. 
Hands-on: We played with water and ice cubes and compared their properties.

A3 Air is a Substance
Discussion: We reviewed the properties of matter (mass and volume) and that air is a gas (from the video). 
Hands-on: I picked up a glass jar and asked what was in it. Ben said, "Nothing." 
I dramatically swept it through the air -- "I have filled this jar with AIR. What is air?" "A gas." 
"If air is a gas it must have mass AND take up space. How do I know air takes up space? What happens if I turn this air upside down and try to put it in water? If the air really takes up space then the water shouldn't go in, right?" So I turned the jar upside down into a pan of water and, sure enough, none of the water went in the jar. Actually quite a bit of water ran all over the counter and our toes thanks to displacement. Then I released some bubbles and I asked what was happening. "Air is escaping!" 
This led to various experiments involving the two jars, air, bubbles, and floating. And more water on the floor. Which needed mopping anyway.

Experiment - States of Matter
Question: What happens to the temperature of water as its state changes.
Hypothesis: It gets hotter and hotter.
1) Put ice in water.
2) Warmed it in the microwave 1 minute.
3) Wrote how hot it was.
4) Repeat step 2.

So the graph looks great, and we had fun entering the data on the computer, but Ben had no idea what it meant. So we drew it the old-fashioned way on graph paper and I let him draw it himself. He got it when he put in the data points and connected the lines himself. Unfortunately the hand-drawn graph and original notes did not scan well...

He was VERY surprised when the temperature came to 212F and then did not rise any higher. He was also surprise how little it rose the first minute. We had a fascinating discussion about where the energy was going when the temperature was not rising much (to melting/making steam). We also noticed that the water went from 1 c at minute 6 to 3/4C at minute 10. 


Demian~DreamSinger said...

Thank you! Well done and very helpful. :-)

Anonymous said...

If you do not care much about your freezer - take a small (very small) glass bottle fill it to the rim with water, put a good stopper in it and put it in the freezer - watch what happens with water (ice) volume. It is very peculiar property of water.
For the safety of the freezer, you may put the bottle in the good freezer plastic bag.
Another good thing about water - you can introduce the temperature scale and the idea of measuring temperature on linear scale. The Celsius scale is designed just like that. To make it simple, you can use your meat thermometer (which is actually a thermocouple, two different metal wires are twisted at the very end of it and then just covered with metal for convenience).
The Celsius defined a 0 degrees as a temperature of melting snow, so, if you take ice cubes and poor some water in them you should read 0. If you bring water to boil you should read 100C. These two points just make a linear relation in that scale.

Katya said...

That's interesting because I when I had initially imagined the experiment I had pictured taking the measurements in C. Since the default on my meat thermometer is F I just plain forgot... and by the time we sat down to graph it was too late to go back. But the original worksheet I designed for the lab had the graph set up for C.