Friday, 24 April 2009

"Water Water Everywhere" online science class

Postings to the school blog have been slack, haven't they? I'm dreadfully sorry about that; I can't even blame it on the recession can I? lol. Nope, I definitely can't. So what's taken so long to post to the school blog? Well ... life. I've simply been busy with life.

I have at least updated the correspondence-cum-playcentre blog earlier in the month, so feel free to check that out when you get the chance.

Actually, I just have to mention something about the recession. I've been reading and hearing a lot about other people's plight in the news lately, and it reminds me of a conversation I had with my eldest brother (the one in Kuwait). He asked, "how are you coping with the recession?" As I typed a reply, I giggled to myself -

"It's made no difference to us. It's the world that has finally caught up with us!"

Sounds as if I've set some kind of new trend, huh?

By no means do I find it amusing that others are struggling to make ends meet. On the contrary, it's a tough time for all of us around the world indeed. But it's just that it simply hasn't hit us out of the blue because we felt the sting years ago! So I already know how to live frugally, how to do away with luxuries - with many things you wouldn't have considered luxuries, but you end up cutting them because you simply can't afford them. I already know how it feels to live months on end expecting to lose our house. Oh yes, we have lived through a recession already and although there's a worldwide recession at the moment, I am actually feeling more (emotionally) wealthy which puts me in a good position to cope with the current economic climate.

In sharing that piece of our lives, I do extend my sympathy to anyone struggling to make ends meet. I just pray you do not lose sight of what is important. To have faith in God, love your family, cherish everything you have around you already and one final piece of advice: Keep reminding yourself that it will only be for a short time of your life. IT IS NOT INFINITE, so just keep smiling, remain positive and look forward to coming out the other side.

But that's enough about that. Let's get back to school.

Most public schools around the country are enjoying the second week of term one holidays at present. We've basically followed suit, but with the expectation that mathematics be practiced every second day at least and also to involve ourselves with water science projects.

And it's the water science I will be displaying here today; but before I do, I would like to keep on the theme of science and quickly mention a New Zealand science festival, called Incredible Science.

The 'Incredible Science' festival is an annual one-day event held by The University of Auckland's Faculty of Science on the first Monday of the July school holidays.

Aimed at primary and intermediate aged children, their families and teachers, Incredible Science is a fun, free day of interactive activities, lectures and shows highlighting the fun and diversity that science offers.

Also at this website they have some experiments to try at home, and some explantory videos about aluminium, anatomy and the rocky shore to name but three.

{I get nervous about putting links to other websites because I panic someone's going to tell me I'm breaching copyright. I've noticed a few people/organisations have tapped into my blog(s) because I've linked back to their sites and I always wonder if I'm appropriately displaying their details without breaching anything.}

When it comes to this particular website I'm excited about sharing it because it's run by The University of Auckland's Faculty of Science. As the website says, it's -

"interactive, educational, free and FUN"

This is a great way to spend a day! I'd like to think we can schedule it in to our diary. I'll at least pencil it in and keep my fingers crossed on the off-chance we can attend.

We have two experiments to share today. I will discuss them by providing the name for the experiment, with a comment afterwards.


Remember the Water, Water, Everywhere Currclick link I popped in at the end of March? Well, we signed up and anxiously awaited the start date. And I'm sooooooooooooo glad we signed up! The class is just brilliant.

Righty-oh, the first experiment we carried out is called the Wet Glass Experiment. As the photos indicate, this is an exercise in condensation. We prepared our two glasses - one empty, the other with ice (solid) and water (liquid) [and learning from Professor H, when we put our hand over the top of the glass there is gas (air)]. Working with the glass containing water and ice, we allowed the build up of condensation over five or ten minutes. During this time we cut our strip of paper. Once we had enough condensation we placed the strip of paper on the wet glass.

Then we took the strip of paper off, turned it around and replaced
the strip of paper to the wet glass again.
We left the paper on for one minute to allow the water to
collect on our paper as much as possible.
Then we placed the strip of paper onto the dry glass.
Hey presto! It stuck like glue!!!!
The second experiment is called the Steam Experiment.
(We chose to do the experiment without a lid so the children could watch the bubbles appear)
We measured half a cup of water and placed it into the saucepan.
Place the pot gently on gas hob
Water starts to boil at 100 degrees celsius.
Placing a spoon over the pot ...
... then turn the spoon over to see we made water appear (condensation)Pour the water back into measuring container
And yes! We made water disappear.
We only had one-third of a cup at the end of the experiment.
That means we lost one-sixth of a cup of water.
Because we didn't use a lid the first time we did the experiment, we had to wait until we poured the water back into the measuring container to see "a lot" of steam.

The two basic principles we learned about are condensation and evaporation. There were a lot of other points which we learned along the way also. The main thing is we are enjoying the learning process and we are all excited to proceed with week two of Professor H's "Water, Water Everywhere" class. So I hope others have joined Water Water Everywhere like us and are partaking in forum discussions and experiments. Science is fun! Thanks Professor H.

I could probably do with better speakers on my computer though because the videos are just a tad quiet for our little speakers. But never mind, the children and I haven't complained about replaying the videos. In fact, we have learned something new each time we do, lol.

I definitely recommend this online class. From a personal point of view, it is helping me to teach the children. It's been years since I've done anything like this and I wouldn't have had a clue where to start. Professor H takes care of everything: experiements, discussion, experiment notes and at the end of week one not only have the children learned something but I've relearned a number of things.

Now, I mentioned earlier in my post that I am worried about linking my blog back to certain sites. I have covered my bases today by emailing Professor H to make sure I wasn't overstepping the mark by including details of the experiments we carried out. Within five minutes of me emailing him this afternoon, I received his reply to give me the all clear. Phew! Do you ever have those moments where you think it's okay, but you feel better having somebody "tell" you it's okay?!

Over the next few weeks I will be posting as many of the experiments we carry out as possible. I hope you enjoy sharing the class with us.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

1 comment:

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