Fall SAVY 2016 (Day 5) – What’s the Matter?
Today, we began our morning reading from a book called, “Mistakes that Worked”. Students enjoyed hearing how things such as the potato chip, sticky notes, chocolate chip cookies and donut holes were invented through simple mistakes. We also read a book called “What do you do With an Idea?” This author encourages students to never give up on an idea that they like, no matter what anyone says. The lesson from this book is that an idea can help make the world a better place.
Next, we recalled our experiment of last week, “The Case of the Cafeteria Manager’s Missing Ocean Water”. Using our Scientific Wheel of Investigation and Reasoning, we discussed our question, hypothesis, experiment, materials, and steps. Then, with our journals in hand, students looked at the mysterious pans to observe what happened. Students remarked that the liquid was gone and all that remained was the salt! They described the salt as looking like snow, feeling bumpy, hard. They also noticed that the salt seemed to be in one area of the pan and not all over. Students decided that the ocean water had evaporated, leaving the salt behind. Reasons for the salt remaining were, according to our scientists, were that the liquid could evaporate, but not the solid, and that this was like the water cycle. One student wanted to see if we could repeat the results by adding more water. That is exactly what we did, but, that same student asked what would happen if we didn’t mix the salt and water. Thus, next week when we return, students will examine both sample 1, not mixed and sample 2, mixed, to see the results.
After that students reviewed how molecules change their position in changing states of matter. They drew pictures of molecules changing from a liquid to a solid, solid to a liquid, and liquid to a gas. Then, we reviewed our exploration of matter, mass and weight using balances and scales. I reminded students that matter is in every one thing, matter is made of molecules which are tiny particles. We also talked about the fact that mass is a measure of how much matter there is in an object.
Moving into our next investigation of looking further into the principles of mass, I told students that mass is similar to weight, but they are not exactly the same. We talked about how weight is a combination of mass and gravity, so we discussed the difference of gravity on the moon and on earth and how that explains the fact that an apple weighs less on the moon, than on the earth. Students shared weightlessness on the moon from their background knowledge. I told students that the same apple on the moon and the same apple on earth still have the same mass (amount of matter), even though their weight is different due to the difference in gravity. I then showed students how mass may not be related to size by showing them several examples such as a large balloon compared to an Expo marker by using a balance. This is a tough concept, so we worked a few examples with student help, and then students did their own investigations. In this investigation, students were given a Unifix cube as the point of comparison (weighs close to a gram), and they then worked to see how many Unifix cubes it would take, using the balance, to create equal weight. The objects they used were, one penny, a crayon, two pairs of scissors, and an ice cube. Students worked is pairs. Each student wrote their data findings on a bar chart after we showed them how to record their information using the chart. After that, students selected their own objects from around the room, to investigate further with objects around the room.
We ended our morning guiding students in creating their own matter investigations to do next Saturday. Our parent Open House is the grand finish to fall SAVY. It will be in our classroom from 11:15-11:30. I am looking forward to meeting you all, and watching your young scientists shine as they present their very own experiments to you!