Sunday, May 20, 2018

Soil, Volcanoes, and Oceans

WOW it's been a long time.....okay, well, I'll see what I can do:

One week we discussed plate tectonics, mountains, plains, and plateaus.

These fault blocks that Dustin made years ago have been used more than I thought they would. They are awesome.

We also even made a "Pangea" puzzle of continents.

The next week was our VOLCANO week! The kids were pretty excited about that. We even had a volcano kit. We made the volcano, but when it came to actual eruption, it was pretty lame, so we just shoved a lot of baking soda and vinegar in a bottle that squirted out and called it good.

That week we also talked about earthquakes, seismic waves, and magma. Here's us testing different kinds of "lava" and their flow rates:


And when I was say "dirtiest" I mean DIRTiest. Literally.

We studied mechanical and chemical weathering, soil, erosion, abrasion,  slopes, water, wind, and glaciers....WHEW! and when you study these things, you're bound to bring in the dirt---and sand---and gravel---and glacier goop. At least, you're bound to if you're me :)

Note the tray with toonies in it. Before it was flooded, that was our hoodoo experiment.  We built a mound, put toonies on it, and showered down the "rain." It honestly created hoodoos. Remember that for later.

There was seriously dirt everywhere. Also, the glacier experiment that I had gotten from a Steve Spangler book didn't work. We got the gloop recipe wrong somehow, and it was REALLY runny goop.

The next week we learned about Ice, water, water vapour, water cycle, and running water.  As part of this we did the "diaper powder magic trick" (or at least that's what I call it.) Where you cut open a diaper and pour out the polymers inside, put them in a cup and then, in front of your audience, pour water in the cup and dump it on someone's head, who is surprised to find NO water coming down on them because it's all been absorbed into the powder. But I completely turned the cup upside-down, and the powder ended up coming out on Taylor's head. Oops.

Here he is with some non-diaper water gel balls.

That was in part to learn about the different absorbency of different soils.

We even made a "stream tray" for learning about water run off, but it didn't work as planned and was more of just a mess.

We talked briefly about water purification, but what I really want to do is take them on a field trip to the city water treatment facilities! So stay tuned.

The next week we learned about Oceans. Namely salinity and the ocean floor.

I had long ago ordered from Steve Spangler this buoyancy floater thing that went up and down because of pressure, and it was a hit.

And this week (WHEW almost caught up with science) we studied Ocean currents.

It was a shorter class than usual but it was pretty awesome because some of my trickier experiments WORKED. I did this one where I got really hot water in a cake pan, put a "glacier"--ie frozen water bottle--in the cake pan, and then dropped some "glacier run-off"---ie blue food colouring---onto the glacier. By the time it dripped off the water bottle into the cake pan, it was most definitely staying on the BOTTOM of the pan-which was the point: that cold water is at the bottom of the ocean.

Other cold/warm water experiments and saturated/not so saturated water experiments worked as well, however I forgot to get any photos, so I must say we played with these toys to reinforce the concepts:

I love those toys.

And that's it for science club.

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