Fourth and Fifth Class
Having learned all about rocks and soils the pupils of fourth and fifth class did further investigations during their Science classes.
Three pupils brought in samples of soil from their farms at home to examine closely the ingredients of their soil.
- Clay • Sand • Silt • Humus or organic material
They discovered this when they filled a glass jar with 1/3 soil and the rest of it with water.
They shook each of the jars and allowed time for the soil to settle.
The pupils discovered the following
- The heavy sand sunk to the bottom.
- The lighter silt settled on top of this
- The lightest ingredient, the clay settled on the top.
- The humus or organic material floated to the surface.
Following their experiment there was much speculation about which soil was the best soil for farming in Doohamlet!
The study of rocks would not be complete without exploring crystals. Most solids are made up of lots of crystals. Sometimes you cannot see them because they are too small or are stuck together. Diamonds are probably the most beautiful crystals of all.
The Pupils got some bread soda and cream of tartar with 50ml of cold water. They followed these instructions to make their own crystals:
- Put one level teaspoon of bread soda into a plastic container.
- Add about50 ml of water and stir well.
- Add one level teaspoonful of cream of tartar and stir well. The two chemicals react together to form Rochelle salt
- Add a second level teaspoonful of cream of tartar and stir well.
- Repeat with a third level teaspoonful of cream of tartar and stir well
- To make sure the reaction has fully taken place put the container into a shallow bowl of hot tap water.
- Some solid will be left on the bottom.Leave the solution in a cupboard for several days for the water to evaporate and you should gets some crystals of Rochelle Salt.
Growing Crystals takes time but the crystals are worth it !
Senior Infants and First Class
Strand: Energy and Forces / Materials
Strand Unit: Heat Transfer, Properties and Characteristics of Materials
MATHS: Measures & Time
At the beginning of the class, the teacher showed the children a concept cartoon. She asked them to think about whether putting a coat on the snowman would make the snowman melt slowly or quickly.
The children were all very sure that the snowman would melt more quickly with his coat on. Coats are lovely and warm, and usually heat melts the snow. We took a vote but all decided that this was the right answer.
To investigate we got two 500ml bottles of water to make the test fair. We froze them overnight in the freezer. We added eyes and a smile to them.
We left one snowman with no coat on. We wrapped the other snowman up with lots of clothes and a lovely cosy blanket. The children at this stage were convinced the snowman that was all wrapped up would melt the fastest.
That evening we looked at our snowmen again. To the children’s amazement the snowman that was all wrapped up had not melted at all but the snowman with no coat on had melted slightly. We poured the melted water into a measuring jug to see how much water had melted.
The following morning we looked at the snowmen again. We were amazed to find that when we unwrapped the snowman he still hadn’t melted but the snowman with no coat on had almost completely melted.
Now we can see that coats are good insulators and will keep us nice and warm when it is cold outside, but if you put a coat on a snowman, the coat will stop the warmer air getting in at the snowman, so having a coat will actually keep the snowman colder for longer, and so he will be slower to melt! We must try this the next time we have snow!!!
Make Water Walk – Capillary Action
Materials – properties and characteristics of materials
We put two glasses next to each other. We filled one with water and added a little food colouring into the water.
Next we tried to think of ways of getting the water into the empty cup without moving it or pouring it.
After much discussion, the pupils didn’t think this was possible. The teacher showed the children the strip of kitchen paper and asked them if it could help us to get the water from the full glass to the other.
We decided to investigate.
We cut a paper towel into a strip about an inch wide and put one end of the paper towel strip into the water and the other end into the empty glass.
The paper towel immediately started to soak up the water.
The next morning when we examined our glasses we were amazed to see that some of the water from the full glass had now ‘walked’ over into the empty glass!
What did we discover?
The process of water moving along a paper towel is called capillary action. The paper towel is absorbent which means that it has enough gaps in it for the water to move through it quickly and easily. This is how flowers and plants move water from the ground up to their stems and leaves!