Thursday, January 31, 2013

Science of Valentine's Day

Every week, Madison (my 10-year old daughter) and I teach a 1.5-hour afterschool science club for K-2nd graders.  Each week she helps plan the lesson and then write the blog about what we did. 

We have provided links to the books we used to sneak in some literacy.  We learned most of the science experiments and activities from Steve Spangler (awesome speaker and science guy extraordinaire).  We have included links to his science supplies, experiments, and videos.  We have also included links to our YouTube videos. These links take you away from the blog and to external websites.

Lesson 17
Science of Valentine’s Day

Science Standards Addressed:
  • Identify human organs and their function (Heart).
  •  Know that when substances are combined, they may create new substances with different properties (Carnation and Secret Valentine Messages).
  •  Observe that magnets attract and repel each other (Kissing Bears and Stick it to Me).
  • Know that bacteria and viruses are germs that can be transmitted (by coughing or KISSING!)
  • Describes ways of spreading germs (Simulated Germs & Mono).
  • Know that air takes up space and exerts a force (Heart-Shaped Peeps).

Plus we snuck in some speaking and listening standards like asking questions, expressing ideas, following multi-step directions, and participating in discussions.

Snack – The heart is the image, the icon of Valentine’s Day.  So for snack, we snacked on a human heart. 
Don’t freak out, we didn’t go all Hannibal Lecter or anything.  We found this cool gelatin mold of the human heart, and whipped up a batch of peach-flavored gelatin with some evaporated milk and food coloring to give it the disgusting look of flesh!

It looked gross, but we sure enjoyed dissecting and eating it!
As they ate we played the song, Take Another Piece of My Heart, by Janis Joplin; and Achy Breaky Heart, by Billy Ray Cyrus.  We’re so funny.
I Heart Science!
Hearts are an obvious theme for Valentine’s Day.  We were surprised how many kids were surprised to see the shape of a real heart. 
We heard one of the kids say, “Wow that (model) is NOTHING like the
shape of a REAL heart!”
We created a model to demo the pumping action of a heart by putting red colored water in a clear balloon. We put a straw in the balloon and gently squeezed to see the “blood” pump with each squeeze.

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