I can’t believe we are at the mid-point, and it is time to recap October sessions. Yes, time slips by. Oh, when we have so much fun with science, time just sems to move so fast that we cannot even catch our breath. Before I write my own impression on each session, I would love to give you what my students think science really is a nd their favorite parts of each Tuesday. Here are some of their responses:
“My favorite activities are Moon Craters and Anthologists & Rocks because these were fun to do. What I learned from each activity is team-work.” –Jacqueline Mazon
“My favorite activity would be the Moon Craters because we got to experience how the moon looks like, using food materials. It’s a way how science can affect many ways we do in using simple tools. I really liked this experience.” –Katelyn Panti
“From the experience we had, I had fun. I also learned that we could collaborate with each other even though we don’t know each other very well. We still had fun.” –Melissa Alfaro
“I like foil boat because it is fun when we have to put more coins and it can get us excited. We are scared when the boat is sinking with too many coins.” –Lizvette Barrios
Science, initially, can seem boring, but when we actually “do” science, it sounds so exciting and even surprising. This can help us to redefine what science is, “from boring to fun”, and this is my primary goal as we have started off a new year. Throughout October, my girls got to experience being different kinds of scientists, such as anthropologists, astronauts, and engineering-designers, even sailors. By giving them a different title, the girls can see what their roles are and begin to take responsibility to fully engage in each experiment. They become active learners.
I usually give them a brief introduction, directions on the board, and all materials already set on each table. I leave the rest mysterious. The girls know who they are at each moment and they are ready to “do” science. My girls always love seeing when marshmallows are with the other project materials. “Ms. Bori, are we baking?” Or “Are we doing s’mores?” They were every time they saw marshmallows on the table. This snowy, chewy, soft marshmallow has played a significant role in some of activities we have done this past month. One little marshmallow seems fluffy, but it can be used to add a little of weight to the mini rockets and fishing sticks the girls have made.
As for mini-rockets, the girls were to design a mini-rocket that flies as far as it could, possibly from the one end to the other. I purposely gave them three marshmallows to each student with three mini paper-cups; of course, they didn’t have to use them all. They could test out adding or removing marshmallows or cups as they were building the mini-rockets. We finally let them fly and saw which rocket could fly farthest. Interestingly, the smaller the rocket was, the farther it flew away; plus, with one marshmallow added at the front side of it. Without a marshmallow, the rocket would easily fall down to the ground. I love seeing them test out and retry—this I believe is science–this is where collaboration is required. We don’t just focus on the outcome, but we do focus on trials faced together to bring better outcomes. Yes, we will definitely keep this in mind throughout the season.
Written by: Bori Kim