This is a great engineering project as it requires cheap and easily accessible materials - plastic or paper cups. Any size will work too! Be sure to start with an easy-to-achieve tower height so all teams that work together can be successful. Then challenge them to build the tallest tower they can with their materials.
There are also a myriad of additional variations on the basic challenge:
Here is another "magic" science activity. We all know that when you poke a hole in something holding a liquid, that liquid will pour out the hole right? In this activity you'll learn that that is not always true. Here you will poke at least two holes in a plastic bag filled with water and the water won't spill out of the bag. How does that happen? Is it magic? No, it's science!
Bonus Fun - see how many pencils you can poke through your plastic bag!
This is one of my favorite chemistry projects because it's so amazing. You get to see milk actually move - and quite quickly at that! - without moving your hand. Hence the "magic" in the title - but of course it's not magic, it's science. It's also a form of art as everyone's experiment will look different depending on how many drops of food coloring and what colors they use.
This activity is very quick and very satisfying. I hope you give it a try!
It's been a great but crazy year! I can not wait to see you again in the fall. This is my last post. But fear not! I've listed some of my favorite sites for finding activities for students. Remember, science is all around you!
And YES! I will continue to send the patches to Sunol Glen Students if you keep doing science experiments over the summer. I will reward you for completing ANY 10 or 20 science experiments, even if you did not find them on my blog. Just have your parent send me an email letting me know you're done - do not forget to include your address so I can send your patch. Have a GREAT Summer!
Great Science Websites:
And don't forget this great resource:
Fossils are a record of a once living thing that is now found in a rock. Trace fossils are impressions of something that was once alive - like a leaf or footprint. You can make your own "rocks" at home and put trace fossils of things found in nature (or your hand print) in them using this simple method with stuff you probably already have at home. Enjoy!
Today's activity is surprisingly fun and super simple! When I first read about it I did not believe it. And I was surprised that the cycle of "dancing" keeps happening over and over again. You'll have to try it to see what I mean. When you understand the science behind it, things make sense. Give it a try.
Summer is a great time to experiment out doors. This is a fun engineering project will allow you to bake using only the sun's energy. You'll need a sunny day (not necessarily a hot one) and a "subject" (something your baking) to test on. Do some research on ways to attract and retain the sun's energy and then give this a try.
Sedimentary rocks are one of 3 types of rocks. It is the type that is made up of tiny pieces of rocks (aka "sediment") that get layered on top of each other over time. Scientists study these rocks by taking cores which allow them to see the various layers in the rock. The bottom layer is always the oldest (the first deposited by nature) and the top layer is always the newest (the last deposited) by nature. This activity models this process.
Anyone who has been in my class when we do anything with magnets knows how much I love them. Magnets are a relatively common item that produces a field you can feel but not see - who hasn't tried to push two magnets together only to feel them resist you? Because of my love for magnets I have stepped a bit outside my usual requirement for only listing activities with stuff you probably have at home - as I expect most folks do not have magnets lying around. But, you can easily order them on Amazon or find them at hardware stores. This one is worth the effort.
Today's engineering project does not have a challenge - just instructions on how to build it. It's a fun way to make a card special as you are thinking of making cards for Teachers, Coaches, and others as the school year comes to a close. When they open the card a butterfly will come fluttering out adding to your surprise (see a fun video here). If you want to add a little biology to this project, take a look at actual butterflies and try to make yours resemble one of them.
You Can Continue to Earn the Patches over the SUmmer!
Every school day I will post a new experiment for you to try at home. Some may be familiar to you - as they are my favorites from class - but most will be experiments I found on the web that have readily available materials. Happy Sciencing!
Earn a Patch
Sunol Glen Students -
Complete an additional 10 experiments (20 total) from this site and I will send you this patch:
Parents - just email me when students have completed a challenge, no proof required.