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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Science Fair, Kindergarten Style

Yesterday was the Science Fair at BJ's school, and not surprisingly he was very excited. A chance to hang out and talk scientific stuff with other students interested in science? Of course he'd love it!

After nixing project proposals that involved rocket ships, high powered telescopes, and x-ray machines, we settled on a simple yet illuminating experiment that compared the effect of solar energy on black and white. I wanted to figure out a project that he could execute himself for the most part, and this was a pretty good fit. First he painted two water bottles: one white and one black.
We found out the bottles needed a good wrapping in masking tape first in order to let the tempera paint stick. He left one clear for the control. Then, all three were placed in the sun to see what happened.

He measured the temperature after 90 minutes and then after 180 minutes.

After 90 minutes in the sun, the black bottle measured 86 degrees, the white 72.6, and the clear 77.3 (It was 70 degrees outside.) After 180 minutes, the black bottle had jumped to 99.1 and was hot to the touch. The white was 79.5 and the clear was 83, while the air temperature had climbed to 75 degrees.

It was neat to see him get excited about his project working the way that he'd thought it would. And I breathed a huge sigh of relief - not because it worked, because I didn't really doubt it would, but because we'd managed to get it done in time! When we decided on which project to do, I hadn't reckoned on two straight weeks of rainy weather! The sun peeked out finally on Sunday morning, before his birthday party, for long enough to complete the experiment. Then we put together the poster on Monday (which was easily the hardest part of everything for him).

But all told, he was very proud of the results! Here he is at the fair:
BB wanted to be in the pic too:

His classroom did a project as well, asking "What makes things change?" He was pretty excited about that project, too.

They did experiments with toast, ice, and water, and also asked the kids about what kinds of changes had happened to them in kindergarten. BJ's reply was apparently quote worthy for the poster, which cracked me up:

His very favorite part of the classroom project? The fact that his cut out pic pasted on the background made him look really really tall. So funny the things that kids come up with!

And so hard to believe he'll be six years old tomorrow....






2 comments:

Angela said...

I love this. Love that boy! Happy Birthday BJ!

cath c said...

that's great! and a really insightful experiment.