Book 3 Hands-On Projects

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objective:

To help you understand how to separate mixtures using the technique of column chromatography.

Research:

Begin by exploring what mixtures are and why separating them is important. Learn about chromatography and how it helps scientists separate and analyze mixtures. Read Chapters 2 & 3 in the Science Book 3 textbook to learn about mixtures, which are combinations of two or more substances that can be separated by physical means. Review chromatography and how is a technique used to separate different components of a mixture. Explore your own questions about mixtures following the technique below.

  • Step 1: Think of a statement about chromatography to begin your inquiry. Example : "Chromatography helps us separate mixtures into their components."
  • Step 2: Write down as many questions as you can about your statement. Consider questions like: "What is chromatography?" "How does chromatography separate mixtures?" "What mixtures can I separate using chromatography?"
  • Step 3: Improve the questions. Decide which questions are open-ended (requiring detailed answers) or closed-ended (yes/no answers). Practice converting open-ended questions to closed-ended questions. Practice converting closed-ended questions to open-ended questions. How do the different types of questions change how you would answer those questions.
  • Step 4: Prioritize the questions. Choose one or two questions that you find most interesting or important to explore further. Write down your prioritized questions in your notebook.

Ask A Question:

Reflect on your research and write down the question that interests you the most in your notebook.

Form a Hypothesis:

Make a hypothesis (a guess) about your chosen question. For example:

  • "I think column chromatography will separate the different dyes in a food coloring mixture."
  • "I think rubbing alcohol will help move the dyes through the column and separate them faster than water."

Conduct an Experiment:

  • Step 1: Gather all the materials, including a plastic syringe, cotton balls, sand or silica gel, food coloring, rubbing alcohol, plastic cups, plastic spoons, and paper towels.
  • Step 2: Prepare the column by placing a small piece of cotton ball at the bottom of the syringe to act as a filter.
  • Step 3: Fill the syringe with sand or silica gel to create the chromatography column.
  • Step 4: Mix a small amount of food coloring with water in a plastic cup to create the dye mixture.
  • Step 5: Carefully pour the dye mixture into the syringe, allowing it to move through the column slowly. When the dye is absorbed by the column, pour more water on the column. This will drive the dye to the bottom. It is important to make sure your column does not dry out.
  • Step 6: Observe how the different dyes separate as they move through the column. Use a plastic cup to collect the separated dyes at the bottom.
  • Step 7: Record your observations in your notebook, noting how the dyes separate and the order they appear.
  • Step 8: Repeat your experiment using dye and alcohol instead of water. Observe if this changes the way the dyes go through the column.

Observe and Record:

Observe the process of separating the dyes using column chromatography. Record your observations in your notebook, noting the colors and order of the separated dyes.

Analyze Data:

Reflect on what you observed. How effective was column chromatography in separating the dyes? Were there any surprises? Were there differences between what you observed with water and what you observed with alcohol.

Draw a Conclusion:

Based on your observations, conclude whether your hypothesis was correct. Why or why not? Explain how column chromatography helped you separate the different dyes in the mixture.

Share Results:

Write a summary of your findings. Explain what you observed and learned about separating mixtures using column chromatography.

Safety Note:

Always perform this experiment under adult supervision. Handle the materials carefully and ensure proper ventilation when using rubbing alcohol.

Scientific Concepts Explained:

  • Mixtures: Combinations of two or more substances that can be separated by physical means.
  • Chromatography: A technique used to separate different components of a mixture based on their movement through a medium.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objective:

To observe the properties of polymers and how when polymers are crosslinked these properties change.

Research:

Begin by reviewing Chapter 4 in your textbook. Review what polymers are and how they work. Here are some key points to focus on:

  1. What are Polymers? Understand that polymers are large molecules made up of repeating units called monomers. They can have different properties depending on their structure and the monomers they contain.
  2. How Do Polymers Work? Learn how the long chains of monomers in polymers can move and stretch, giving polymers their unique properties like elasticity and flexibility.
  3. Examples of Polymers: Review common examples of polymers, such as plastic, rubber, and natural polymers like cellulose.
  4. The Role of Cross-Linking: Understand how adding substances like borax can cause the polymer chains in glue to link together, forming a more solid and elastic structure (slime).

Ask a Question:

  1. Step 1: Write down as many questions as you can about polymers and making slime. Consider questions like: "What are polymers?" "How does adding different ingredients change the slime?" "What makes slime stretchier or fluffier?"
  2. Step 2: Improve the questions. Decide which questions are open-ended (requiring detailed answers) or closed-ended (yes/no answers). Refine them to make them clearer. Example: Open-Ended: "How does adding different ingredients change the slime?" -> Closed-Ended: "Does adding shaving cream make the slime fluffier?" Example: Closed-Ended: "Is slime stretchy?" -> Open-Ended: "What makes slime stretchy?"
  3. Step 3: Prioritize the questions. Choose one or two questions that you find most interesting or important to explore further.
  4. Step 4: Record your question. Write down the prioritized question you want to answer in your notebook.

Form a Hypothesis:

Make a hypothesis (a guess) about your chosen question. For example:

  • "I think adding shaving cream will make the slime fluffier."

Conduct an Experiment:

  1. Step 1: Gather all the materials, including white school glue, borax powder, water, food coloring, plastic mixing bowls, plastic spoons, measuring cups, and shaving cream, shampoo, or conditioner.
  2. Step 2: In a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup of glue with 1/2 cup of water. Stir well.
  3. Step 3: Add a few drops of food coloring if you want to color your slime.
  4. Step 4: In a separate bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of borax powder in 1 cup of warm water. Stir until the borax is completely dissolved.
  5. Step 5: Slowly add the borax solution to the glue mixture, stirring constantly. Watch as the slime begins to form.
  6. Step 6: Continue stirring until the slime is no longer sticky and can be easily handled.
  7. Step 7: Observe the texture and properties of the slime. Record your observations.
  8. Step 8: Repeat the experiment, adding 1/2 cup of shaving cream, shampoo, or conditioner to the glue mixture before adding the borax solution. Observe and record any changes in the slime's texture and properties.

Observe and Record:

Observe the properties of the slime made with just glue and borax, and then observe the properties of the slime made with additional ingredients like shaving cream, shampoo, or conditioner. Record your observations in your notebook, noting any differences in texture, stretchiness, and fluffiness.

Analyze Data:

Reflect on what you observed. How did the additional ingredients affect the slime? Were there any surprises?

Draw a Conclusion:

Based on your observations, conclude whether your hypothesis was correct. Why or why not? Explain how the additional ingredients changed the properties of the slime.

Share Results:

Write a summary of your findings. Explain what you observed and learned about making slime and how different ingredients affect it.

Safety Note:

Always perform this experiment under adult supervision. Handle the borax carefully and wash your hands after making the slime.

Further Exploration:

Once you have mastered making slime, try experimenting with other ingredients to see how they affect the slime's properties. Some ideas include:

  • Shaving cream: Adding shaving cream to change the texture.
  • Lotion: Adding lotion to make the slime smoother.
  • Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to make the slime thicker.

Click here to download a pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objective:

To investigate how plants get their food and the importance of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide in their growth.

Research:

Begin by reviewing Chapter 7 - Food for Plants and review the concepts of photosynthesis and plant nutrition. Here are some key points to focus on:

  1. Photosynthesis: Explore how photosynthesis is the process by which plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide (from the air), and water to make their own food (glucose).
  2. Role of Sunlight: Understand that sunlight provides the energy plants need for photosynthesis.
  3. Role of Water: Research how water is essential for photosynthesis and helps transport nutrients within the plant.
  4. Role of Carbon Dioxide: Research using the internet or library how carbon dioxide from the air is used by plants during photosynthesis to produce food.

By understanding these concepts, you'll be better equipped to conduct your experiment and analyze the results.

Ask Questions:

Step 1: Write down as many questions as you can about how plants get their food and the conditions they need to grow. Consider questions like: "How do plants make their food?" "What happens if a plant doesn't get sunlight?" "Can a plant grow without water?"

Step 2: Improve the questions. Decide which questions are open-ended (requiring detailed answers) or closed-ended (yes/no answers). Refine them to make them clearer. Example: Open-Ended: "How do plants make their food?" -> Closed-Ended: "Do plants need sunlight to make their food?" Example: Closed-Ended: "Can a plant grow without water?" -> Open-Ended: "What happens to a plant if it doesn't get water?"

Step 3: Prioritize the questions. Choose one or two questions that you find most interesting or important to explore further.

Step 4: Record your question. Write down the prioritized question you want to answer in your notebook.

Form a Hypothesis:

Make a hypothesis (a guess) about your chosen question. For example:

  • "I think plants need both sunlight and water to grow well."

Conduct an Experiment:

Step 1: Gather all the materials, including plant seeds, small pots, potting soil, water, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil.

Step 2: Fill each pot with potting soil and plant a few seeds in each pot.

Step 3: Label each pot with the condition it will be tested under (e.g., "Sunlight and Water," "No Sunlight," "No Water," "Covered with Plastic Wrap").

Step 4: Place the pots in different locations based on their labels:

  • "Sunlight and Water": Place in a sunny spot and water regularly.
  • "No Sunlight": Cover with aluminum foil to block sunlight and water regularly.
  • "No Water": Place in a sunny spot but do not water.
  • "Covered with Plastic Wrap": Place in a sunny spot, cover with plastic wrap, and water regularly.

Step 5: Observe the plants over the next two weeks, noting any changes in growth and overall health.

Step 6: Water the plants as needed, except for the "No Water" pot.

Observe and Record:

Observe the growth and health of the plants under different conditions. Record your observations in your notebook, noting any differences in height, color, and leaf size.

Analyze Data:

Reflect on what you observed. How did the different conditions affect plant growth? Were there any surprises?

Draw a Conclusion:

Based on your observations, conclude whether your hypothesis was correct. Why or why not? Explain how sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide affect plant growth.

Share Results:

Write a summary of your findings. Explain what you observed and learned about how plants get their food and the conditions they need to grow.

Safety Note:

Always perform this experiment under adult supervision. Handle the materials carefully and ensure that plants receive proper care.

Scientific Concepts Explained:

  • Photosynthesis: The process by which plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to make their own food.
  • Plant Nutrition: The importance of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide in plant growth.

Click here to download a pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Challenge Experiment: Objective

The overall objective is to have students design a model of the parts of a plant to explore how water travels using capillary action. The below discussion can be used as a guide, but we encourage you to allow students to create their own solutions using iterative design steps where they try something, test it, try again, test again and repeat until they are happy with their design.

Research:

Begin by reviewing Chapter 9 the parts of a plant and their functions. Here are some key points to focus on:

  1. Roots: Learn that roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil and anchor the plant.
  2. Stems: Understand that stems support the plant and transport water, nutrients, and food between the roots and leaves.
  3. Leaves: Learn that leaves are where photosynthesis occurs, using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to produce food for the plant.
  4. Capillary Action: Understand that capillary action is the process by which water moves up through tiny tubes in the plant, allowing it to travel from the roots to the leaves.

By understanding these concepts, your student will be better equipped to conduct their own experiment and analyze the results.

Ask Questions

Step 1: Write down as many questions as you can about the parts of a plant and how water travels through them.

  • Consider questions like: "How do plants absorb water?" "What is the role of the stem in a plant?" "How does water travel from the roots to the leaves?"

Step 2: Improve the questions.

  • Decide which questions are open-ended (requiring detailed answers) or closed-ended (yes/no answers). Refine them to make them clearer.
  • Example: Open-Ended: "How do plants absorb water?" -> Closed-Ended: "Do roots absorb water from the soil?"
  • Example: Closed-Ended: "Is the stem important for water transport?" -> Open-Ended: "What is the role of the stem in transporting water?"

Step 3: Prioritize the questions.

  • Choose one or two questions that you find most interesting or important to explore further.

Step 4: Record your question.

  • Write down the prioritized question you want to answer in your notebook.

Form a Hypothesis:

Make a hypothesis (a guess) about your chosen question. For example:

  • "I think water will travel from the roots to the leaves through the stem using capillary action."

Conduct an Experiment:

  • Step 1: Gather all the materials, including plastic straws, sponges, paper towels, food coloring, clear plastic cups, scissors, water, and tape.
  • Step 2: Cut the sponge into small pieces to represent the roots.
  • Step 3: Cut the plastic straws to represent the stems. Attach the sponge pieces to one end of each straw using tape.
  • Step 4: Cut the paper towels into leaf shapes and attach them to the other end of the straws using tape.
  • Step 5: Fill the clear plastic cups with water and add a few drops of food coloring to each cup.
  • Step 6: Place the sponge end of each straw into the colored water and observe what happens.
  • Step 7: Record your observations in your notebook, noting how the colored water travels up the straw (stem) and into the paper towel (leaves).

Observe and Record:

Observe how the colored water travels from the sponge (roots) through the straw (stem) and into the paper towel (leaves). Record your observations in your notebook, noting the speed and extent of the water movement.

Analyze Data:

Reflect on what you observed. How did the water travel through the plant model? Were there any surprises?

Draw a Conclusion:

Based on your observations, conclude whether your hypothesis was correct. Why or why not? Explain how capillary action allows water to travel through the different parts of a plant.

Share Results:

Write a summary of your findings. Explain what you observed and learned about the parts of a plant and how water travels through them.

Safety Note:

Always perform this experiment under adult supervision. Handle the materials carefully and clean up any spills immediately.

Scientific Concepts Explained:

  • Roots: Absorb water and nutrients from the soil and anchor the plant.
  • Stems: Support the plant and transport water, nutrients, and food between the roots and leaves.
  • Leaves: Where photosynthesis occurs, producing food for the plant.
  • Capillary Action: The process by which water moves up through tiny tubes in the plant.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with skit sheets and student notebook pages.

Materials:

  • 2 - Plastic Bins (to hold the paper balls) Order Here
  • Cardboard Sheets Order Here
  • Construction Paper Order Here
  • Markers Order Here
  • Blank Paper (for making the paper balls) Order Here
  • Paper Balls (you can make these from crumpled construction paper or blank paper)

Recommendation: This activity requires a teacher or parent to participate. Read the entire activity through before beginning. This is fun for students but does require teacher or parent instruction.

Overview

Most students and adults have a vague or incomplete understanding of electricity and its workings. Some students may be able to explain that electricity flows through wires but may need help explaining how a battery works or what the terms voltage, circuit, or current mean. Many STEM kits and activities have students build electric circuits without illustrating the fundamentals of how electrons travel through a wire and how a battery provides electrical energy that can be converted to mechanical energy in a fan or light energy in a light bulb.

In this activity students will model how electrons flow in a wire by creating paper balls (representing electrons) and passing them from person to person with each person representing a single atom in a wire. This activity needs a minimum of 3-4 people and works well up to 20 students.

Objectives

  • Students will model an electric circuit using a game where they pass paper balls to represent the flow of electrons through a conductor.
  • While passing paper balls, students will demonstrate the flow of electrons in a circuit with and without a battery, a fan, and a light bulb.
  • Students will be able to describe what happens when a circuit is open versus when it is closed.


Research:

  1. Review Electron Basics: Recall that an electron is a subatomic particle found in atoms and has a negative charge. Review Chapters 10 & 11 of your textbook on subatomic particles.
  2. Examine how Electricity Flow in Wires: Review Chapter 12 about how electrons move through wires by hopping from one atom to the next
  3. Explore How Batteries Work: Understand that batteries provide the energy needed to push electrons through a circuit. Note: the terms of current and voltage can be challenging even for adults to understand. In this activity voltage will be represented by the two bins that make the battery. Voltage is the amount of pressure a battery can generate to push electrons through a wire. The higher the voltage to more pressure it has. Current is the flow of electrons. When a battery is connected, electrons will flow through the wire creating a current.
  4. Real-World Connections: Think about real-world examples of circuits, such as those in your home or in electronic devices.

Ask a Question

Step 1: Write Down Questions

  • Have students write down as many questions as they can about how electrons flow in wires and how batteries work.
  • Consider questions like: "What makes electrons move in a wire?" "How does a battery push electrons through a wire?" "What happens when a battery runs out?"

Step 2: Improve the Questions

  • Have students decide which questions are open-ended (requiring detailed answers) or closed-ended (yes/no answers). Refine them to make them clearer.
  • Example: Open-Ended: "How does a battery push electrons through a wire?" -> Closed-Ended: "Do batteries push electrons through wires?"
  • Example: Closed-Ended: "Does electricity flow through wires?" -> Open-Ended: "How does electricity flow through wires?"

Step 3: Prioritize the Questions

  • Have students choose one or two questions they find most interesting or important to explore further.

Step 4: Record Your Question

  • Have students write down the prioritized question in their notebook.

Example Questions:

  • "How does a battery push electrons through a wire?"
  • "What makes electrons move in a wire?"

Instructions

  1. Hand out the ½ sheet of paper to each student.
  2. Ask the question – How does Electricity or electrical energy flow in a copper wire? (students may be more familiar with the term “electricity” than with “electrical energy”) Have students write or draw their answers on the ½ sheet of paper.
  3. Have the students crumple the paper into a ball, stand up, and toss their paper to their peers.
  4. After everyone has a new paper, ask students to read the paper in their hands one at a time.

Gathering information:

As the students read the answers, the teacher (parent) can gather information about students’ understanding of electricity and if they can connect “electricity” to electrical energy as electrons flow through a copper wire.

Evaluating Student Answers:

Student answers will vary. Some student answers may reflect an understanding that “electricity” is an informal term for electrical energy and that electrical energy involves electrons. Other answers may reflect a minimal understanding of electricity by what it does, such as powering their phone, running their computer or tablet, or keeping the lights on in the room. Other answers might describe electricity as “lighting,” “power,” or something else.

Student Activity (see skit sheets)

STEP 1

Have the students re-crumple the papers into paper balls and keep them in their hand.

Have the students line up shoulder to shoulder. Explain that each of them is a “copper atom.” Review that an atom has electrons used for bonding and that in a metal extra electrons can hop from atom to atom.

Instruct them to hold one hand out and keep the other hand to their side.

Explain that for this demonstration, they will each have one free electron represented by the crumpled paper.

STEP 2

As they stand shoulder to shoulder, instruct them to trade crumpled papers with their neighbor and explain that in a copper wire, electrons are going back and forth, but notice that the electrons don’t move very far, and there is no net flow.

STEP 3

Next, add the “battery” to the wire. The battery is represented by two students standing shoulder to shoulder. One student is holding a bin full of crumpled paper and the other student is holding an empty bin. Ask the students if they know what a battery is and ask them if they have seen the plus and minus symbols on the battery. Explain that in a battery there is one side that (when connected), will “fill up” with negatively charged electrons (the minus side) and one side that will be “empty” (the positive side).

STEP 4

Have the two students representing the battery stand in line with the students being the copper atoms. At this point only one side of the battery is attached. Ask them if the electrons in the battery can flow. Allow them to see that because everyone is holding a paper (an electron) the battery can not flow.

STEP 5

Next have the students form a circle to connect both ends of the battery to the copper wire.

Tell students that the student standing next to the empty side of the battery (the student holding the empty bin) can now put their paper in the empty bin. This creates a “hole” where the student standing next to the first student can hand them their paper, and that paper can then be put in the bin. In this way the papers can be handed down the wire one by one and into the previously empty bin.

STEP 6

Tell the students holding the full bin they can now hand their papers to the student next to them who now has an empty hand.

As the previously empty bin gets full, instruct the student to transfer all the papers to the adjacent bin to be handed out to the student atoms in the wire.

STEP 7

Add a fan or light bulb to with a cardboard drawing. One side is ON and the other side is OFF.

STEP 8

With the papers flowing as electrons around the wire have students note when papers are flowing through the light bulb and the bulb is “ON” and when papers are not flowing through the light bulb the bulb is “OFF.”

Student self-assessment

When the activity is complete, ask students to write what they learned about electricity and batteries by doing this activity. Are they are sticking to their original idea or if their concept of electrical energy has changed and if so how.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objectives:

  • Connect the concept of electron flow to a paper circuit and its components.
  • Learn to construct a simple paper circuit using copper tape and LEDs.
  • Apply creativity and problem-solving skills to design a functional paper circuit.

Research:

  1. Review Electron Flow: Recall that electrons are subatomic particles with a negative charge that flow through a circuit. NOTE: Review electron flow (current) and batteries with the Power Circus Parade-Pass the Electrons! skit-activity.
  2. Understanding Circuits: Research how a circuit is a closed loop that allows electrons to flow from a power source (battery) to a component (LED) and back.
  3. Components of a Paper Circuit: Understand the role of copper tape as the conductor, the battery as the power source, and the LED as the light source.

Ask a Question:

  1. Step 1: Write Down Questions
  2. Step 2: Improve the Questions
  3. Step 3: Prioritize the Questions
  4. Step 4: Record Your Question

Experiment- Test, Tinker, Try

  1. Step 1: Gather all the materials, including copper tape, construction paper, 3V lithium-ion batteries, multicolored LED lights, scissors, and tape.
  2. Step 2: Cut a piece of construction paper to serve as the base for your circuit.
  3. Step 3: Plan your circuit design on the paper, marking where the copper tape, battery, and LEDs will be placed.
  4. Step 4: Lay down the copper tape along the marked paths to create the circuit traces.
  5. Step 5: Attach the LEDs to the copper tape, ensuring the positive (long leg) and negative (short leg) sides are connected correctly.
  6. Step 6: Secure the battery in place using tape, ensuring that the copper tape makes contact with both the positive and negative terminals of the battery.
  7. Step 7: Complete the circuit by connecting the copper tape on both sides of the LED and battery.
  8. Step 8: Observe if the LEDs light up, indicating a complete circuit. If not, check connections and troubleshoot.
  9. Step 9: Record your observations and, if desired, get creative by designing different shapes and patterns with your paper circuits.

Tips & Tricks & Safety

  1. The copper tape is tricky to peel and it easily tears, folds, sticks to itself and does its own thing. Patience is key. Smaller pieces (3-4 inches) are recommended.
  2. The Li-ion batteries have the a “plus” and “minus” on opposite sides. LED lights also have a plus and minus leg. The longer leg is the + leg. However, it is easy to forget. An easy check is to straddle the legs on the battery, touching one leg to one side of the batter and the other leg to the other side of the battery to check which direction it will light up. Also - this is just fun to do.
  3. You will need to stack several batteries to make multiple LED lights illuminate.
  4. Do not let younger children play with the batteries and don’t allow them to put them in their mouth. If a child or a pet swallows one seek medical attention immediately.

Observe and Record:

Have students observe how easy or difficult it is to build a paper circuit. Have them note how many LED lights they were able to add, how many batteries, and how much copper tape they used.

Analyze Data:

Have students evaluate their circuits. How well did the circuit work? What difficulties did they have?

Draw a Conclusion:

Have students record their conclusions and final thoughts about their paper circuit.

Share Results:

Have students explain what they know about circuits, electricity, electric flow, batteries, and current.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objective:

To understand the hydrosphere and the different stages of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

Research:

Begin by reviewing the concepts in Chapter 14 about the hydrosphere and the water cycle. Here are some key points to focus on:

Hydrosphere: Review how the hydrosphere includes all the water on Earth, such as oceans, rivers, lakes, and even water vapor in the air.

Water Cycle: Review how the water cycle describes how water moves through the environment, including evaporation (water turning into vapor), condensation (vapor turning into liquid), and precipitation (water falling as rain or snow).

Stages of the Water Cycle: Review the stages of the water cycle in detail:

  • Evaporation: Water from the surface turns into vapor and rises into the air.
  • Condensation: Water vapor cools down and forms tiny droplets, creating clouds.
  • Precipitation: Water droplets in clouds combine and fall to the ground as rain, snow, or other forms of precipitation.

Ask a Question:

Step 1: Write down as many questions as you can about the hydrosphere and the water cycle.

  • Consider questions like: "How does water move through the environment?" "What causes evaporation?" "How do clouds form?"

Step 2: Improve the questions.

  • Decide which questions are open-ended (requiring detailed answers) or closed-ended (yes/no answers). Refine them to make them clearer.
  • Example: Open-Ended: "How does water move through the environment?" -> Closed-Ended: "Does water evaporate from the surface?"
  • Example: Closed-Ended: "Do clouds form from water vapor?" -> Open-Ended: "How do clouds form from water vapor?"

Step 3: Prioritize the questions.

  • Choose one or two questions that you find most interesting or important to explore further.

Step 4: Record your question.

  • Write down the prioritized question you want to answer in your notebook.

Form a Hypothesis:

Make a hypothesis (a guess) about your chosen question. For example:

  • "I think water will evaporate from the cup, condense on the plastic wrap, and then fall back down as droplets."

Conduct an Experiment:

Step 1: Gather all the materials, including a clear plastic cup, water, plastic wrap, a rubber band, small pebbles or marbles, and blue food coloring (optional).

Step 2: Fill the clear plastic cup halfway with water. Add a few drops of blue food coloring if you want to make the water more visible.

Step 3: Cover the top of the cup tightly with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band.

Step 4: Place a few small pebbles or marbles on top of the plastic wrap to simulate the formation of droplets.

Step 5: Place the cup in a sunny spot or under a lamp to simulate sunlight. Watch what happens over the next few hours.

Step 6: Observe the changes in the cup and record your observations in your notebook, noting any signs of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

Observe and Record:

  • Observe the water cycle stages in your cup. Record your observations in your notebook, noting the presence of water vapor, droplets on the plastic wrap, and any falling water droplets.

Analyze Data:

  • Reflect on what you observed. How did the water move through the different stages of the water cycle? Were there any surprises?

Draw a Conclusion:

  • Based on your observations, conclude whether your hypothesis was correct. Why or why not? Explain how the water cycle works using the results of your experiment.

Share Results:

  • Write a summary of your findings. Explain what you observed and learned about the hydrosphere and the water cycle.

Further Exploration:

Once you have observed the water cycle in your cup, try experimenting with other variables. Some ideas include:

  • Different Temperatures: Placing the cup in different locations with varying temperatures to see how it affects evaporation and condensation.
  • Different Liquids: Using different types of liquids (e.g., saltwater, sugary water) to see if they behave differently in the water cycle.
  • Different Covers: Using different materials to cover the cup (e.g., aluminum foil, wax paper) to see how they affect condensation.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objective:

To understand Earth's magnetic field and how it interacts with magnets.

Research:

Have student begin by reviewing the concepts of magnets and Earth's magnetic field in Chapter 16. Here are some key points to focus on:

  • Magnet Basics:
  • Learn that magnets have two poles, North and South, and that opposite poles attract while like poles repel.
  • Understand that Earth acts like a giant magnet with a magnetic field that extends from the Earth's core out into space.
  • Discover how a compass works by aligning itself with Earth's magnetic field, always pointing towards the magnetic North Pole.

Ask a Question :

Step 1: Write down as many questions as you can about magnets and Earth's magnetic field.

  • Consider questions like: "How do magnets interact with each other?" "What is Earth's magnetic field?" "How does a compass work?"

Step 2: Improve the questions.

  • Decide which questions are open-ended (requiring detailed answers) or closed-ended (yes/no answers). Refine them to make them clearer.
  • Example: Open-Ended: "How do magnets interact with each other?" -> Closed-Ended: "Do opposite poles of magnets attract each other?"
  • Example: Closed-Ended: "Does a compass point north?" -> Open-Ended: "How does a compass point north using Earth's magnetic field?"

Step 3: Prioritize the questions.

  • Choose one or two questions that you find most interesting or important to explore further.

Step 4: Record your question.

  • Write down the prioritized question you want to answer in your notebook.

Write down your chosen question in your notebook.

Form a Hypothesis:

Make a hypothesis (a guess) about your chosen question. For example:

  • "I think Earth's magnetic field causes the compass needle to point towards the magnetic North Pole."

Conduct an Experiment:

Step 1: Gather all the materials, including a compass, bar magnets, iron filings, clear plastic sheets, paper, pencils, plastic spoons, and a notebook.

Step 2: Place the clear plastic sheet on a flat surface.

Step 3: Place a bar magnet under the clear plastic sheet.

Step 4: Sprinkle the iron filings evenly over the clear plastic sheet using a plastic spoon.

Step 5: Gently tap the plastic sheet to help the iron filings align along the magnetic field lines created by the bar magnet.

Step 6: Observe and sketch the pattern formed by the iron filings in your notebook.

Step 7: Use the compass to locate the direction of Earth's magnetic field. Place the compass on the plastic sheet and observe the direction the needle points.

Step 8: Record your observations in your notebook, noting how the compass needle aligns with Earth's magnetic field.

Observe and Record:

  • Observe the patterns formed by the iron filings and the direction the compass needle points. Record your observations in your notebook, noting any differences and similarities between the magnetic field of the bar magnet and Earth's magnetic field.

Analyze Data:

  • Reflect on what you observed. How did the iron filings reveal the magnetic field lines? How did the compass needle align with Earth's magnetic field?

Draw a Conclusion:

  • Based on your observations, conclude whether your hypothesis was correct. Why or why not? Explain how Earth's magnetic field interacts with a compass and how it compares to the magnetic field of a bar magnet.

Share Results:

  • Write a summary of your findings. Explain what you observed and learned about Earth's magnetic field and how it interacts with magnets.

Further Exploration:

Once you have observed Earth's magnetic field, try experimenting with other variables. Some ideas include:

  • Different Magnet Shapes: Using different-shaped magnets (e.g., horseshoe, disc) to see how their magnetic fields compare.
  • Multiple Magnets: Placing multiple magnets together to observe how their magnetic fields interact.
  • Shielding: Using materials like paper, plastic, or metal to see if they affect the magnetic field or compass needle.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.