By Meredith Lamothe
Welcome to the Junior Science Explorers blog!
We will share here some of the projects, experiments and concepts that we explore in the Junior Science classes, which are designed for ages 3.5-5.
Keep learning, Keep exploring.
JUNIOR SCIENCE: Water!
Water is amazing. Everything that is alive depends on water. Water can exist in THREE different states. Some things float in water, while other sink. There's so much to learn and experiment with when it comes to water.
SINK OR FLOAT?
During class, we filled our sensory table with water and then each student chose items to place in the water. There were lots of items to choose from. We gently placed them into the water and saw if they sank or floated. We asked ourselves "What are the forces at work here?" The first was gravity—a cork falls to the ground when it is outside the water because of gravity, but stays afloat in the water because of another force–buoyancy! You can remember buoyancy by calling it “bouncy buoyancy” (say that five times fast). Buoyancy keeps things afloat or "bouncing" on the water.
The River Model in our Cochecosystem exhibit is a perfect place to talk about evaporation. You can visit any river, lake, pond or even a puddle to talk about how water evaporates thanks to the Sun and wind.
The concept of density goes well with the Sink or Float experiment. You can make glitter bottles to show that the water and the glitter have the same density, which is why the glitter stays afloat when the bottle is twirled.
Fluffy and Baron by Laura Rankin is a great story to use to talk about how ducks float in the water and therefore have buoyancy.