Parent Lesson Guides

Weekly Class Room Notes and Take Home Projects

FUNdamental Science, Fall 2017

 

*Depending on the length of your session, your little scientist may have 1 to 2 weeks of engineering projects in addition to the below experiments.

 

M & M Chromatography

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today we did chemistry with M&Ms!  It was hard to keep from eating our experiment subjects, but we all managed to hold off until the science was complete.

 

Home:  Have your scientist place a drop or two of water in the middle of a coffee filter.  Set a Skittle in the water for 5 seconds.  Remove the Skittle and observe. How far did the food dye travel?  Repeat the experiment with a different Skittle and the second coffee filter.  Compare results.  Have them enjoy eating the rest of the skittles.

 

Soda Exposed

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today we shook things up by experimenting with soda.  We learned about soda chemistry and soda density using regular and diet soda varieties.

 

Home:  Your scientist will be playing Myth Busters!  He/she will test the theory:  “The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.  Its pH is 2.8.  Coke will dissolve a nail in 4 days.”   Have your student place your nail in a cup of soda.  They will check it every day for 4 days.  Does the coke dissolve the nail?

 

Marshmallow Masher

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today we saw firsthand the effects of increased and decreased air pressure on soda.  We experimented with a miniature pump that increased the air pressure in a bottle with marshmallows inside.  Ask your scientist what happened to those marshmallows!

 

Home:  Watch your scientist perform this experiment:  go to a really dark room and stand in front of a mirror.  Put a wintergreen lifesaver in your mouth and with your mouth open, break up the lifesaver with your teeth.  If you do it right, you should see bluish flashes of light.  This is because you are breaking apart sugars inside the candy and the sugars release a tiny electrical charge.  This charge attracts the oppositely charge nitrogen in the air.  Then, sparks fly!

 

Atomic Glow

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today we experimented with water absorbing polymers with a spooky twist.  We made them glow in the dark!

 

Home:  Have your scientist take out ¼ cup of the polymer from Bag #1.  Spread the polymer out on a paper towel and leave it in the sun for 24-48 hours.  What happened? The water evaporates in the warm sunlight and the crystals will shrink.

 

Glowing Bat Craft

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today we experimented with echolocation.  We also created a craft bat using luminous zinc sulfide.  This chemical phosphoresces which made our bats glow in the dark.

 

Home:  To continue to learn about night creatures, have your scientist take a white cloth outside before dark.  Try and hang it or spread it vertically on a chair.  If possible shine a lamp on the cloth.  About 30 minutes after dark go out with a flash light and see what has landed on the cloth.  If you don’t have a great assortment of moths, shine the flashlight on the material for a minute or so.  This simple technique is used by scientist to document night moths in a particular area.

 

Spooky Sounds

 

Today’s Lesson:  Your scientist explored what happens to our bodies when we are scared.  Next, we used everyday items to make scary sounds.  I am sure your student will demonstrate.

 

Home:  Allow your scientist to go through your cabinets to find items to create “Foley effects.”  Foley effects are used in movies to make scary sounds.  For example, carrots snapping quickly could be breaking bones.  Rice poured into a pan could be rain while a rock rolled around in a box could be thunder.  Encourage your student’s imagination.

 

The Great Pumpkin Illusion

 

Today’s Lesson:  Your scientist explored what happens to our bodies when we are scared.  Next, we used everyday items to make scary sounds.  I am sure your student will demonstrate.

 

Home:  Check out The Great Pumpkin we made in class today. Unveiling the secret to why only one image appears when you spin the Magic Pumpkin means understanding how slow your eyes are. When images flash in rapid succession, like when you roll the skewer of the Magic Pumpkin between your hands, your eyes and brain lose their ability to process them as individual images. Instead, your brain takes a short cut and combines the rapidly changing images into one “hybrid” image.

Crime Scene Investigation

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today your CSI investigated a crime scene.  We learned how important it is to pay attention to small details.

 

Home:  Play a cognitive recall game with your little CSI.  Have them close their eyes and name as many objects in the room from memory.  Challenge them by changing something in the room and see if they can guess what is different.

 

Fiber Analysis

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today we did some in-depth study on fibers.  We used microscopes to spot the small details between fiber types.  This is one piece of the puzzle of Mystery Festival.

 

Home:  Have your student show you how things look different using a magnifying lens.  Find things like leaves and fabric to examine.

 

Fingerprinting

 

Today’s Lesson:  Your CSI learned the correct procedure to take fingerprints.  They fingerprinted themselves and compared their prints to their classmates.

 

Home:  Examine your CSI’s fingerprints.  Have the family make fingerprints on a glass door or mirror.  How similar are the prints between family members?

 

Lifting Prints

 

Today’s Lesson:  Today we learned to “lift” fingerprints.  We took prints from a cup and got a closer look.  We then typed the prints and looked at the characteristics of those prints.

 

Home:  Work with your CSI to solve the take home mystery.  Make sure to pay attention to all the details!

 

Take Home Mystery

 

Harborville’s Beach Snack Shop had been open only an hour when Max stopped in and noticed a new poster announcing a price increase. “I put the sign up this morning,” Mr. Levine told him. “I had to raise my prices 10% because I have so many new expenses. Like now I need a new window for my back room. Somebody broke it, trying to get into my store last night.”


“Have you called the police?” Max asked. Mr. Levine replied, “No. Nothing was stolen.” He led Max to a small storeroom in the back and said, “I use this space as an office. Sat here and made my price change poster last night. Soon as I was done, I left it on that old desk. I locked the door to the main part of my store when I left, so whoever got in was stuck in this little storeroom. There’s nothing here to steal.”

When Max left he wandered down to the break wall, where Nathan and Trevor were fishing. “Did you hear that somebody broke a window at the Shack?” he asked. “Nope,” Nathan said. “We’ve been here since dawn and haven’t talked to anybody.” Trevor gestured to the bucket. “We’ve caught some big ones.” Nathan stood. “But now I’m starving. I’ve got a dollar left from my allowance. If Mr. Levine is there now, I’m going up to the Shack to get a Big Beach Bun.”

“Better get another dime from somewhere,” Trevor told him. “A dollar’s not enough anymore. As for me, I’m going home to get a couple sandwiches for myself.”


“You both stay right here,” Max said. “I know which one of you broke that window. You’d better think of a way to pay for it, because I’m telling Mr. Levine.”

How did Max figure it out?

 

 

Shoe Prints

 

Today’s Lesson:  Your CSI examined different shoe prints to solve our mystery!  Over the past five weeks all of our CSI skills have been used to solve who wrecked field day for Mifflin Elementary School.

 

Home:  Have your CSI explain the Case of the Wrecked Field Day with all the details!

STEAM Classes, Fall 2017

 

KNEX Engineering, Part 1:  Simple machines allow us to do work faster or more easily.   Machines can transfer energy, magnify force, multiply speed or change direction of a force.  These are the building blocks of the more complicated machines.  For example, your bicycle is made up of pulleys, wheels, and levers.  A hammer claw is a lever.

 

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Soda Science- Science Experiment

Today’s Lesson:  Today we shook things up by experimenting with soda.  We learned about soda chemistry and soda density using regular and diet soda varieties.

Home:  Your scientist will be playing Myth Busters!  He/she will test the theory:  “The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.  Its pH is 2.8.  Coke will dissolve a nail in 4 days.”   Have your student place your nail in a cup of soda.  They will check it every day for 4 days.  Does the coke dissolve the nail?

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Art Desk:  Using Color Pencils and Art Stix, your little artist will create a perspective drawing of the Art Desk.  Experimenting with pressure variations with the supplies, students learn to create depth and dimension.

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Spooky Sounds- Science Experiment

Today’s Lesson:  Your scientist explored what happens to our bodies when we are scared.  Next, we used everyday items to make scary sounds.  I am sure your student will demonstrate.

Home:  Allow your scientist to go through your cabinets to find items to create “Foley effects.”  Foley effects are used in movies to make scary sounds.  For example, carrots snapping quickly could be breaking bones.  Rice poured into a pan could be rain while a rock rolled around in a box could be thunder.  Encourage your student’s imagination.

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KNEX Engineering, Part 2:  A balance is a first class lever.  The fulcrum is the pivot point which separates the input force (effort) and the output force (load).  Manipulating the distance between the forces and the fulcrum allows the balance to do work more easily.

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Agamograph:  Students begin with simple line art, using straight lines and curvy lines to create contrast.  Next, using Math & Art skills and Art a la Carte’s specially made templates to create a double image work of art!

 

Glowing Bat Craft- Science Experiment

Today’s Lesson:  Today we experimented with echolocation.  We also created a craft bat using luminous zinc sulfide.  This chemical phosphoresces which made our bats glow in the dark.

Home:  To continue to learn about night creatures, have your scientist take a white cloth outside before dark.  Try and hang it or spread it vertically on a chair.  If possible shine a lamp on the cloth.  About 30 minutes after dark go out with a flash light and see what has landed on the cloth.  If you don’t have a great assortment of moths, shine the flashlight on the material for a minute or so.  This simple technique is used by scientist to document night moths in a particular area.

 

 

 

Marshmallow Masher- Science Experiment

Today’s Lesson:  Today we saw firsthand the effects of increased and decreased air pressure on soda.  We experimented with a miniature pump that increased the air pressure in a bottle with marshmallows inside.  Ask your scientist what happened to those marshmallows!

Home:  Watch your scientist perform this experiment:  go to a really dark room and stand in front of a mirror.  Put a wintergreen lifesaver in your mouth and with your mouth open, break up the lifesaver with your teeth.  If you do it right, you should see bluish flashes of light.  This is because you are breaking apart sugars inside the candy and the sugars release a tiny electrical charge.  This charge attracts the oppositely charge nitrogen in the air.  Then, sparks fly!

 

Clay Dragon:  Using proportion and color mixing skills, your student will create an amazing Dragon sculpture.  The clay we use is easy to manipulate for little hands, and dries hard for a lasting piece of art for display.  Please allow 3 to 5 days to dry before handling too much.

 

Atomic Glow- Science Experiment

Today’s Lesson:  Today we experimented with water absorbing polymers with a spooky twist.  We made them glow in the dark!

Home:  Have your scientist take out ¼ cup of the polymer from Bag #1.  Spread the polymer out on a paper towel and leave it in the sun for 24-48 hours.  What happened? The water evaporates in the warm sunlight and the crystals will shrink.

 

KNEX Engineering, Part 3:  KNEX Challenge Day!  Using the knowledge of simple machines that we have already learned, combined with creativity, students will free build their own simple machines using screws, axles, pulleys and wheels to design their own build!

 

 

DIY Scratch Art:  Working with oil based pastels; students will learn a simple and easy way to create their own scratch art material.  To finish their masterpiece, students will design their own playing cards using simple designs and images.