Scientific Method Exploration and Review

by Mrs. Nilsen on September 21st, 2013

Weekly Science News 9/16 - 9/20

6th Grade Science - Scientific Method

In sixth grade this week, we've continued our study of the Scientific Method and building up our Science Notebooks.  We learned the difference between predictions and hypotheses early in the week and later we began our preparations for Outdoor School!  Parents, please see my most recent ODS Blog Post to make sure you're up-to-date about our exciting adventure that is fast approaching!  

7th and 8th Grade Science - Scientific Method Review

In seventh and eighth grade, we are whizzing through our review!  The unit raps up with a Scientific Method application (see pictures and explanations below) and a unit exam (next Tuesday.)  I've been quite impressed with our Seniors ability to remember and apply what they learned last year, or to learn quickly for the first time for our few new students.  It's been a fun week in Senior Science!  

ATTENTION PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS: The 7th graders are starting an exciting new unit next week called Skateboard Science, but we need your help.  Please bring as many of the following items as you can to my room:
- Cardboard rolls from paper towels, bathroom tissue, wrapping paper, etc.
- Circular boxes such as those from oatmeal and bread crumbs
- Flat, single ply cardboard from cereal boxes, facial tissue boxes, shirt cardboard, or gift boxes.
- Cardboard beverage flat boxes (for example, those used for 24 cans of soft drinks)

Thanks you in advance for your help.  
7th grade experiment:  Pasta stress test.   Students were measuring how many pennies it takes to break 1, 2, and 3 pieces of pasta by placing them on chairs 10 cm apart.  Pennies were added carefully, one at a time, to a cup suspended by a paperclip on the pasta.  Each test was done 5 times to ensure more accurate data.  Dependent variable (what we are measuring) = the number of pennies it takes to break the pasta.  Independent variable (what we change and manipulate in the experiment) = the number of pasta noodles. 

8th grade experiment: Sticky Tape.  For these advanced students, they were allowed to do different things.  They were all working with the same essential design, but were allowed to choose which variable they wanted for their independent variable.  The example I showed had the independent variable (what we change and manipulate in the experiment) as the three different types of tape (duct, packing, and masking).  Some groups used this one.  Others chose to test the slope of the ruler, and another group the size of the marble.  The dependent variable (what we are measuring) = the distance the marble travels in cm.  Independent Variable (what we change and manipulate in the experiment) = whatever they chose!   They had to remember to clean off the marble EACH AND EVERY time they used it, or it messed up their data.  Adding oils and dirt to the marble created another variable!  Another group chose to actually test this variable by purposefully making their marble dirty.  What great application by our 8s!

Looking Forward

Monday, September 23th: 
6:00pm Strategic Planning Meeting

Tuesday, September 24th:
Subway lunch orders due no later than 3:00 pm
3-4 p.m. Homework Club w/ Mrs. Cook

Wednesday , September 25th:         
12:20 p.m. All School Assembly
1:00 p.m. Early Release     
Pizza orders and money due no later than 1:00 p.m. (late orders will not be accepted)
ODS Forms Due (see ODS Update blog post for forms and information)

Thursday, September 26th:
3-4 p.m. Homework Club w/ Mrs. Nilsen

Friday, September 27th:
Dress Up Friday
Jog-A-Thon!! Everyone one is invited to come out and run!

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