Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Day of Hands-On Science Inquiry

Hands-On Science!

When you're 5 or 6 or even 27 (soon to be 28) one of the best ways to learn is through hands-on inquiry. I just wanted to take some time to share one of the most hands-on, down right dirty, fun, exciting, hands on science inquiry projects we've done this year. It involves a few of our favorite things: our 5th grade study buddies, ice, water, balloons, salt, food color, ice picks (not real ones obviously) and a few other science tools. Here's how it went down.

Last week, Ms. Pierpont (our buddy teacher, or my study buddy) and I filled balloons with water and froze them. Then during our Friday study buddy time we grouped kids to explore the ice balloons using different materials and tools to see what "magic" could happen. We began the activity by discussing what a scientist does. We came up with thoughts of making observations, doing experiments, making predictions, etc. Next we made some predictions about what would happen with the ice balloons and what tools or experiments the kids might want to try with their own ice balloon. Next, the hands on fun discovery and inquiry occurred!

Here's more info on the specifics of the activity.  Ice Balloons Inquiry

I always say that science is one of the easiest things to teach because it differentiates itself and each activity can go in so many directions. Another reason I love science because it is so engaging to all learners, and it is always easy to make science relevant to students own lives regardless of prior knowledge and or experiences.  

We had a blast, and we learned so much through this hands on inquiry. It was a messy, enjoyable learning experience that I'm sure many students will remember for a while.  My next lesson will probably be based on the question "can I take the ice home?".  Here are some pictures from our inquiry here at MCS. 

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