The Science School Yard: What We Did Our First Week... We Got Growing!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

What We Did Our First Week... We Got Growing!

What a great first week back. The garden has provided us with such great learning opportunities. The kindergartners and first graders went to the garden to use their five senses. They saw tons of vegetables that the older students planted last year. The popcorn felt rough and smooth, pokey and soft. We smelled herbs that flavored gum such as peppermint and spearmint. We even smelled herbs that made pizza sauce. We heard everything from an airplane going by, to our classmates excited to see the pumpkin patch.  We even got to taste something new... a ground cherry. Most of the kids were very brave and tried this new fruit. The students described it as a cross between pineapple, orange, and I don't know "it just tastes good!"

Our second graders used the garden to be scientists. Scientists use tools to learn about the world around them. They used their senses and recorded what they saw, heard, smelled, touched, and tasted. They used hand lenses to investigate the garden even closer.

Third graders are learning about he metric system and how to measure. They used a metered tape measure to find out the length and width of different leaves in our garden. Did you know that some of the corn leaves were over 89 cm long? We noticed that the herbs in the garden have leaves that are small, but sure pack a flavor. Our bean leaves at the longest and widest often measure the same both in length and in width.

Forth and fifth graders went out to the garden to set up an experiment. The forth graders were learning about energy. Newton's third law states: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We used alka selzer tablets to test stored and kinetic energy. We saw how carbon dioxide gas was stored and needed to be released. The top popped off as we made observations. Fifth graders took the experiment one step farther. They are learning about variables. We tested a control, using 1/4 of a tablet with 1/2 a film canister of water. Then each group changed one thing. We concluded that the less water the better the thrust.

What a great first week. I can't wait to see what this year brings.

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