We had a nice, productive week upstairs in MS Science & Engineering.
Our dual-pronged focus at present is on learning the fundamental causes of weather and wind and a Kite Project which has been set for 9/23.
After concluding our lab on the discrepancy between how soil and water heat and cool, we made connections with how the land and sea interact with the sun to cause pressure differentials and wind. This helped us to approach the causes of sea breezes and convection.
On Friday, we explored the heating principles of water even more thoroughly with the "Burning $" investigation. In this activity, we saturated money (which is more fibrous than typical paper) with a 3:1 solution of alcohol and water before exposing it to a flame. If the proportion is right, the alcohol burns immediately while the water in the solution rapidly evaporates. Because evaporation is endothermic, it consumes the heat energy to the degree that when the alcohol burns off, the bill is undamaged (and, in fact, cool and dry). The students predicted, observed, and reflected throughout this process.
Next week, we will really get going with kite design. On Monday, I will lead the crew in crafting a simple, effective design using a single sheet of paper. We will use this design to address the necessary fundamental components of a kite. Please ask your middle schooler to show you the document which addresses the project. It can ABSOLUTELY be completed using entirely "found" or recycled/upcycled material. You don't need to buy anything for it (in fact the rules stipulate that it should not come from a pre-fabricated "kit").
We will have a "build day" in class on Friday, so the kids are encouraged to bring in any material (sticks, string, trash bags, fabric, etc) to work on planning and developing their kites.
Thanks to Harrison for his MasterClass on Cookie Run Kingdom, which I will admit I knew embarrassingly little about.
Have a great week!