Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Science

This week our afterschool science club is studying density. d = m/v... Density = mass per volume - or how much matter (stuff) is crammed in an amount of space. If a substance is less dense than water it has buoyancy... so it floats.

Since our study of density is happening so close to Thanksgiving, we decided to do some SINK or FLOAT experiments using some items from the typical Thanksgiving table.

We started with Sweet Potatoes! Yes, we tested both a fresh sweet potato and canned sweet potatoes! They both SUNK.

Then we tested cranberries! The fresh cranberries FLOATED, while both the canned varieties (both the whole berries AND the strange and creepy gelled variety) SUNK.

To discover why the fresh cranberries floated, the kids DISSECTED the cranberries. The reason was obvious. Upon cutting the fresh cranberries open we discovered they had hollow pockets of air inside which causes them to float.

We learned that to harvest cranberries, cranberry farmers flood the marshes or bogs with water and then drive a harvester through the flooded fields removing the ripe cranberries from the vines. The ripe cranberries float to the surface of the water for easy collection.

Next we tried to determine if turkeys would sink or float. We discovered that turkeys are very fast and extremely difficult to catch.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Greedy Dice - a FUN Math Game!

Greedy Dice: Goal: Be the first player to rack up 1000 points by rolling the dice. Set up: Form groups of between 4 and 6 people. Each group gets six dice. The youngest player goes first, and play continues clockwise. 

Directions: On your turn, each player rolls all six dice. Separate the 1s and 5s from the rest of the dice. 1s are worth 100 points and 5s are worth 50 points. After each roll, players have the opportunity to either stay with (bank) the points they have earned and pass the dice to the next person, or get a little “greedy” and roll the remaining dice in an attempt to roll more 1s and 5s. You may roll as many times as you like, but if on any roll you do not get ANY 5s or 1s you lose all the points and the dice are passed to the next person. Play continues until one player scores 1000 points.
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