Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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SCIENCE ACTIVITIES: The Armadillo Indicator | Construction Challenge Activity | Exploratory Walk | More Science Activities
MATH ACTIVITIES: The Outline of Things | Fractional Parts the "Tan" Way | Building Viewpoints | More Math Activities


These science activities are from the Science Simply Amazing parent awareness kit. Understanding science and exploring, investigating, and talking about science ideas are important for your child's growth. With these activities, you'll have fun while tapping your child's natural curiosity by encouraging them to ask questions.

Find two disposable cups and some string. Cut the string into two -1 foot long pieces. Using tape, attach the end of one piece of string to the bottom of one of the cups, and attach the other end to the edge of a table. Repeat this with the other cup. Position the cups so they hang off the table two inches apart and at the same height. You might need to adjust the spacing between the cups. Blow between the two cups. What happens?

Why are the cups drawn together? Bernoulli's principle states that in areas where air moves rapidly, pressure is low. Blowing between the cups drops the pressure so the higher air pressure of the surrounding air pushes the cups together. (From NEWTON'S APPLE Educational Materials Packet)

Cut a piece of tissue paper into a 6 cm (about 2") diameter spiral (use the diagram). Cut a piece of thread 15 cm (6") long and tape one end to the paper spiral. Position a desk lamp so that the light points upward. Hold the paper spiral by the thread about 10 cm (4") above the light. (Caution: Do not allow the paper to touch the light bulb.) What happens?

Why does the paper spiral twirl? The energy from the light heats the air above it. Warm air is lighter than cool air, so as the air heats up, it rises above the lamp. Cool air moves in to replace the warmer, lighter air. This "convection current" causes the spiral to twirl.

(From NEWTON'S APPLE Educational Materials Packet)

Seals rely on extra layers of fat to keep warm while swimming in icy water. To demonstrate this, have one child fill a large ziplock bag about half full with vegetable shortening. Next, another child slips on a ziplock bag like a glove and slides it into the shortening-filled bag, mushing the fat around until it surrounds the hand. Have the first child plunge her ungloved hand into a bucket of ice water and hold it there for twenty to thirty seconds. The second child then plunges her blubber glove into the ice water. What happens?

Why does one's child's hand stay warm and the other's gets cold? The shortening acts as a layer of fat. So, she will find she can keep it there for any length of time, as warm and comfortable as a seal in the winter.

(Adapted from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum)

While you cook supper, your kids can be learning more about science. You will need pepper, dish soap, toothpicks, and a glass of water. Sprinkle pepper on the top of a glass of water. Dip a toothpick in the center of the pepper. What Happens? Put a drop of dish soap on a toothpick and dip in the center of the pepper. What happens?

Why does the pepper "run away"? The pepper moves quickly to the sides of the glass because the soap breaks the surface tension. Surface tension occurs when the hydrogen in water molecules bond or stick to one another as well as the water below. At the surface, this holds the substance together and makes it behave as though it is coated by an invisible film.


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