Daily Schedule

Monday, September 21, 2015

What is Science? Beginning our Journey

When our Science teacher, Shan, asked the question, "What is science to you?", children in my class had some usual and somewhat unusual responses:

* Science is making potions and stuff exploding
* Caring about stuff
* Doing experiments, like making active volcanos
* Creativity
* Making potions, testing, eating
* Making cool things, like the fake explosions they do in movies

Young children often think of science in this way, making potions and/or seeing reactions. This probably most often goes in the chemistry category. But, of course, chemistry is just one of many facets of science. With our youngest children, we try to make science as meaningful and hands-on as possible, and can find opportunities right in our own backyard.

For our first science lab, we learned and reviewed the scientific process. Science is all about careful observation, asking questions, making predictions, and experimenting (and then starting all over again). We practiced our observation and prediction skills by starting a very simple celery experiment. Here are somethings I heard as children were making observations with a variety of tools (magnifying glasses, rulers), and their senses:

* There are white veins inside
* It looks like a road you could slide right through
* It feels smooth vertically, but bumpy horizontally
* It smells like grass



After observation, we asked the questions, "What would happen if you placed celery in a glass of colored water? Will one color work any better than another? Why do you think so?" Answers - and hopefully more questions - this week!

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