Monday, March 2, 2009

Fruit flies, fruit flies, pesky little fruit flies

Today's epiphany: If you have fruit flies in your building and you do a science activity with vinegar, every dog gone #*?@!! fruit fly in the building is going to find you within 30 minutes.

I'm glad Kim and I put on our thinking and trying caps and gave the new (to us) way to do dancing/bobbing raisins a shot. I printed out a couple of photographs I found online of the man who took a trip in his lawnchair with the help of helium balloons. I told the kids about his bold voyage to Idaho and then told them we were going to use bubbles filled with another kind of gas to lift raisins - gas filled bubbles made by mixing two household chemicals together. Heck, we didn't even need the bobbing raisins to make this an interesting activity for the short people!

First I gave them each a clear plastic cup half full of water, a small Dixie-type cup with two teaspoons of baking soda, four raisins, another small cup with 2 Tbsp. vinegar and a plastic spoon. (We reused all the little cups and spoons for all four groups throughout the day. I hate the garbage we can produce with some science activities.)
Once they had all of their supplies, I told them to pick-up their baking soda cup and to dump it all into the water.
Then I told them to pick-up the spoons and begin stirring while I counted and clapped out a minute.
Next I asked them to put raisins in one hand and the vinegar cup in the other and to add them at the same time.
I loved the ooos and ahs as the vinegar and baking soda foamed (a few overflowed) and receded. Then we watched the bubbles collect on the raisins,
raisins lifting up,
raisins dropping down.
A successful and fun day in science.

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