Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Scientific Method on a Sunday afternoon

AKA---I am out of vinegar and baking soda.

We recently watched a video about how glow sticks work. Here it is:

It really spurred her to think about "experiments", so Sunday afternoon after church, while my husband and I watched the Kansas City Chiefs lose (as usual), mija played scientist in the kitchen.

She had started mixing things together to see what happened. She used things like left-over 7UP, coffee, soap ("foam" soap & liquid), etc. Since she was so interested, I introduced her to what happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda. 

Now, it would have been very easy for me to turn this into an "official" science lesson. I didn't, however, because I didn't want to squelch her natural, spontaneous learning. 
What I did do was to introduce some correct terms and scientific method as she experimented. I mentioned words like "observation", "data", "record results", and "hypothesis". As she checked in throughout the afternoon, I asked her "What do you think will happen if...?" or "Why do you think it did...?" 

Well, by the time she was done, I was out of baking soda and vinegar and my stove top looked like this:
She did help clean up before she went outside, and she did it without complaining! Another plus!

All this to say, sometimes we need to be careful not to turn every "teachable" moment into a "school lesson".  
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4 comments:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom said...

I can relate to your picture of your kitchen after a science experiment. I think it's wonderful that she is such an engaged learner. You are doing a fantastic job! Thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop!

Our Side of the Mountain said...

Exactly! Not everything must be turned into a LESSON, but everything CAN be turned into a learning experience! It's great that you used different terms and asked her questions during her experiments. Not only did she learn words for what she was doing, but she could delve into your questions and it was more like you were discovering together. Now, the mess....Well, learning is messing! LOL Glad she cleaned it up without a fuss though!

Sennie said...

How cool! And I love it when the kids will help clean up without complaining:)
Here from HHH!

Savannah @ HammockTracks said...

This is just great! What a wonderful science project. I hope you'll consider adding it to "Look! What We Did!" This site is dedicated to great home school posts. -Savannah http://lookwhatwedid-homeschool.blogspot.com

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