Learn about the Scientific Method with the Community Helper for S8:00 PM
Our Community Helper for S is Scientist! A pretty generic job considering all the specialties, but a important one none the less. I explained it to the girls as a person who through observation and experimentation learns about the world around them including creating new substances like medicines or new materials. We looked at lots of pictures and went over the scientific method.
After the girls had written the scientific method (the abridged version I had on the whiteboard) in their science notebook, they got dressed in their scientist gear (lab coats, gloves, "goggles"), and we went to perform a little experiment I had set up for them.
I took an experiment they were already familiar with, baking soda and vinegar, and threw in a little variable by providing two bottles that were basically the same size but had different sized openings. I had already placed the same amount of baking soda in each and measured the vinegar for them to add. I made sure to stick an old cookie sheet under them to catch the overflow!
When they came in we talked about what happened when vinegar is mixed with baking soda, and then I asked to come up with a hypothesis about what would happen with the different sized openings. (We skipped the research part because it would have given away the answer!) They quickly decided that a lot would come out the big opening and a little would come out the little opening. Then they got to test it by adding the vinegar.
The saw that both bottles allowed the mixture to come out, but the smaller opening made a small fountain effect while the large opening just flowed over the edge. I know you can't really appreciate it in the pictures, but the girls were able to see it!
I asked them why, and of course they said "because this one is smaller," so then we talked a little about how liquid behaves through a smaller or larger opening. Our conclusion was that their hypothesis was incorrect and the baking soda / vinegar mixture will come out of the smaller opening with more force resulting in a small fountain.
Then they just played with more baking soda for a while; probably their favorite part!