The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Young Scientists

Yesterday I wrote about the young authors in my class. Today I feel it is only appropriate to write about these wonderful students as young scientists, as well. My student teacher is down to just one more day before she is done for the semester. She found a really fun science experiment for the class to do related to our unit on electricity and magnetism. The experiment is specifically related to exploring how static electricity works. She found it via Pinterest, which I have come to believe is one of every teacher’s resources online!

photo 1

After asking the class to think about what they already knew about static electricity, she invited a student to come up front to demonstrate how you can generate it with just an inflated balloon and someone’s hair. Then she asked the students to describe what had happened and why, using scientific language.

photo 2

The students spent the rest of the time in their groups experimenting with balloons, popsicle sticks, and metal spoons. At first they were given the freedom to do anything they wished. Then they were guided into figuring out how to spin a popsicle stick on the end of an overturned spoon. It took some work, but eventually all six groups figured it out. Some of them then experimented further and learned that the popsicle sticks could be rubbed on someone’s static-y hair and they would stick to their clothes!

photo 5

The groups also explored the way static electricity can impact moving water. By “charging” the balloon and running a small stream of water through a faucet, they saw that the static would actually repel the water, pushing it away from the balloon!

photo 4

We had a great morning of scientific exploration and experimentation! I love how the students have built up their scientific vocabulary and strive to use it in their conversations!


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