Building a Model

The Thursday class also studied sound waves. Of course, they loved the Slinky activities, but they decided to build an eardrum model as well. Hope you like the video!


Today, students did some investigations to build their understanding of sound and waves. Students should understand that that sound is a form of energy that travels in waves called compressional (longitudinal) waves, and that sound waves can travel through different mediums, including solids, liquids, and gases. After the students did the  Slinky activities, we investigated pitch and volume using  Audacity  recording and sound mixing software.

Screen shot 2014-05-12 at 4.35.14 PM



Today, students learned about tornadoes by reading the email I got from Tommy the Tornado, then investigated the vortex inside of a tornado tube.

A tornado is a very special kind of storm. It is a column of swirling winds that reaches all the way from the ground up to the clouds in the sky. It’s only when it touches the ground and the sky that it’s called a tornado. You can find them most everywhere in the world, but most frequently in the American Midwest. The average tornado is about five hundred feet across, but can sometimes be a mile wide. On average, they travel across the ground for about five miles, although the path can be much shorter or longer than that. The swirling winds can be as fast as three hundred miles per hour!


Investigating Light and Color

Today, I set up several stations for investigating light and color. Students moved freely from station to station, making their own discoveries. Worked out pretty well, considering how gray and dreary skies took over this afternoon.

  • a painting station with only red, blue and yellow paint
  • a station (with a mirror, a wooden block, pencil and paper, flashlight and an index card with a slit in it)  where students could experience angle of incidence = angle of reflection
  • other mirrors and flashlights, so students could shine onto a particular spot on the ceiling while pointing their flashlight downward
  • a prism station
  • the colored shadows station (see below)



Electricity Challenge

This week, students were free to choose to work at several electricity stations in the lab. At one station, they could further investigate the Energy Sticks, at another they were challenged to light a bulb with only one wire and one piece of wire. The third challenge was to light a bulb using a battery and 2 wires.