Allen graduated from Kennesaw State University with a BS in Early Childhood Education. She is the Kindergarten team lead teacher, the STEM coach for grades K-2 and a chairperson for the school’s STEM committee. Although she teaches in a general education classroom, she holds a Gifted Endorsement as well. She is very passionate about giving students time for free play and exploration and she also provides several hands-on opportunities and limits work sheets. She believes problem based learning provide kids with the know how to solve real world problems and prepare for the future. Below are five science experiments that Allen would like to share with you.
How can we clean a penny? Look at a lot of pennies, new and old, and notice how they are different and also how they are the same. The oldest ones will have lost their shiny, new look. How could you clean those pennies? You could use soap, lotion, water, etc., but let’s add one more liquid cleaner…vinegar! Using clear containers, label each with the cleaning liquid name and place a penny inside. Continue to observe the pennies to determine if they are becoming cleaner. Of course, you could try to speed up the cleaning time by rubbing or brushing, but just watch to see how clean those pennies will become.
The second science experiment will show how germs spread, definitely not something that we would want to share. Did you know we can actually see germs? Oh, not with the naked eye, of course, so we are going to grow germs. Cut an apple in half and place half in a ziplock bag that has not been handled. Just put it straight into the bag and zip it up. The other half handle for a few moments by turning it in your hands and making sure to make skin contact with the half. Then, put it into a separate ziplock bag and then zip it up. Label the bag with the apple half that you did not handle, “clean” and label the bag with the half that you handled with “dirty.” Place the two bags in a place where they can be checked on a regular basis. Take pictures of the apples every couple of days if possible, because that is the easiest way to track what is happening. It will not take long for the dirty apple to start decomposing and growing mold because of the germs transferred to it from your hands. This definitely shows how important it is to keep hands washed and clean.
Up next is sound, and can you really see sound? That might sound a little confusing, but start by gathering a few things such as a large bowl, plastic wrap, a small amount of uncooked rice, a metal cookie sheet and a metal spoon. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and secure the wrap around the bowl, making sure the plastic wrap is very tight. Pour a little bit of uncooked rice on the top of the plastic wrap. Hold the metal pan in the air and place it next to the bowl. Take the metal spoon and bang it on the metal pan like a drum and watch what happens to the rice. See how the rice is moving around and how the sound waves are moving through the air from the spoon to the plastic wrap.
Last, but not least, is the Balloon Hovercraft. Items you need are balloons, CDs, hot glue and bottle caps (sports style water bottle tops work well). Glue the cap over the hole in the CD. This actually makes up the hovercraft and now add the balloon. Blow up the balloon and place it over the bottle top. Make sure the bottle top is snapped closed. When you are ready to release the hovercraft, pop your bottle top open and watch the hovercraft float. The pressurized air will push down and make the CD float up. The balloon is a gas chamber which holds the air for the hovercraft.