Saturday, September 7, 2013

Skittles Experiment

We had a lot of fun this week learning about the scientific method.  We took 3 days to go through the scientific method from testable question to conclusion.  
Testable Question: Do Skittles dissolve faster in warm water or cool water?

Day 1
On the first day, I introduced the question, hypothesis, plan, variables, and materials.
I gave the students the question and we talked about how to tell if a question is testable or not.  I introduced how I like a hypothesis to be written and they wrote their own hypotheses.
"If _____, then _________ because ________."
{Hand motions: When you say hypothesis, point to your head.}
We wrote a plan together and discussed multiple trials.  
{Hand motions: When you say trial, hold up 3 fingers}
Then, we talked about independent and dependent variables.  I didn't get into controls because there was a lot of new info, BUT we did talk about how we keep everything else the same.  The kiddos didn't TOTALLY get it yet, but it's something we will continue working on this year.
{Hand motions: Independent variable- hold your left arm up in front of you.  Dependent variable- when showing independent variable, swing your right hand around and slap your left hand.  Dependent variables depend on the independent variable.}
We made a list of materials by looking at the plan we wrote.  
Day 2
I went over the directions on the board for completing the activity and students got right to work.  It went very, very well.  They drew pictures of their observations and recorded the data from the trials.
 Day 3
On the last day, we made a double bar graph of data, analyzed the data, and wrote a conclusion.  It was a really great way to kick off the year before beginning new content next week!
If you're looking for handouts and specific directions for completing the experiment, check out iLearn Science on TpT.

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