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Spring SAVY 2017, Day 5- Environmental Explorations: Dig It!

Posted by on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 in Grade K, SAVY.

Dear Parents:

We began our day reviewing the concept of change (change is everywhere, change relates to time, change can be natural or manmade, and change can be random or predictable), as well as recalling the concept of soil (components of soil, layers of soil, erosion), natural resources (renewable and nonrenewable), and the problem on Queen Anne’s Island. Next, I read a book to students called Oil Spill. Students were sincerely concerned for the damage that oil spills produce in the ocean and the beach. We discussed the cause and effect of the oil spills on the environment, plants, and animals. Several students mentioned the chain effect of fish eating oil- laced food, then humans eating fish which have been polluted with oil as, well as humans eating polluted plant life, etc. We had a rich discussion.

Then, students did an oil spill clean-up experiment to determine which of three methods would clean oil off bird’s feathers best (paper towels, baking soda mixed with water, or dish soap mixed with water). We followed the steps on the wheel of scientific investigation and reasoning to conduct our investigation. First students recalled information we learned from the Oil Spill book and asked questions, then students stated their hypotheses regarding which method would produce the best results of cleaning oil off the bird feathers, then we talked about the materials and the steps. Then it was time to conduct the experiment. Working in teams of 2 students, an oil spill in water was simulated and synthetic feathers were added to the oil spill to represent bird feathers. Students then worked in their partners, testing one of the three methods. Our young scientists then reported their results one group at a time, and each group got to touch the feathers and make their own observations. The final step was to report findings in our logs, and record any further questions we had. Students determined that the baking soda was ineffective, but that the paper towels helped; however, the dish soap was the winning method.

Students then observed the plants they planted last week in various environments, including trash, soil, rocks and sand. Students noticed that plants grew best in soil, and recorded this in their logs. We then listened to our last message from Cowboy Geologist who made a final plea for our scientists to hurry and plan Preservation Park, with no moment to lose! Students ended the day, with their beginning creations of what Preservation Park might look like. Next week, our young scientists will add suggestions to help solve the problems that have developed on Queen Anne’s Island.

I can’t believe that our six weeks are coming to a close this Saturday! This is the week where you get to hear all about our student’s experiences and learning by coming to an open-house. Our open house is from 11:15am-11:45am in our classroom. We are on the first floor of Wyatt Center in room 102. You can check your child out from the open house when you are ready to leave. I will have the sign-out clipboard with me. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Here are some suggested questions and discussion topics you can have this week if you have time, to enrich and extend our learning from this week

  • Conduct research on the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the different methods used for cleaning up oil in this spill
  • Ask your student to identify some sources of water pollution in their daily lives, and ways to decrease this type of pollution
  • Brainstorm how to help Queen Anne’s Island solve the problems of air, water and soil pollution

Karen Tyson
Dig It Instructor

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