Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ice Cream Science

Have you ever thought of turning a fun treat into a science lesson? If you haven’t, you must. When the kids start revolting on the very idea that it is a school day is when you need to whip out of your hat of tricks - or whatever you happen to keep your tricks in; personally, my tricks are organized neatly in a file cabinet because I am a bit obsessive that way – a fun and tasty science lesson.
This week, I pulled out an ice cream soda and paired it with a lesson on the three types of matter. First I explained to them what matter is.
Matter: Anything that takes up space and has weight.
Then talk about how there are three types of matter; solid, liquid, and gas. Gas is the hardest to explain however the other two are so easy. Point to things around the house and have them tell you what kind of matter it is. To explain gas so that they can understand it, as they will start debating you about how air is weightless; talk about how there are different types of gases, helium in a balloon is lighter than the air around us so it floats, hot air is lighter than cold air so steam rises. Then bring in water and ask them if it can be more than just a liquid. Of course it can, ice is solid and steam is a gas. (You can put some water in the freezer and boil some water if you want to at this point.)

Now comes the fun part.

Take out the ice-cream (vanilla was our choice) and ask them what type of matter it is. Put a scoop of it in a clear glass while they are telling you it is a solid of course. (By now they are getting bored because they get it but yet a bit curious because you brought out ice-cream during school.) Then pull out the soda (orange is what we had on hand but root beer would be fine if you want to go the traditional route.) Ask them what soda is. They will naturally say it is a liquid and as you are pouring it over the ice-cream ask them about the bubbles in the soda. Once they figure out that the bubbles are a gas, and you can tell them it is the carbonation that give soda its bubbly goodness, hand them the cup with a straw and a spoon. Their smile (and new found knowledge of course) will be worth the fact that you are giving them a sugar boost during school.




Next subject, P.E.

1 comment:

  1. You are a good teacher and an AMAZING momma, friend!

    I love you,
    me

    ReplyDelete

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