Applied Science - Science and Math(2A)
Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Comparing predictions.
  • Experimenting and predicting volume, weight and length.
VOCABULARY:
  • estimate
  • length
  • predict
  • volume
  • weight
MATERIALS:

Students predict and then measure volume, weight, and length of different objects.

BACKGROUND:

Science and mathematics use the ability to predict or estimate to help guide the experiment or the mathematical conclusion. These skills are learned, and with practice can increase a person’s proficiency.

Prediction is based on prior knowledge or familiarity with an event or substance. Predicting what it would be like in space, would require prior experiences with flying on an airplane or riding on some amusement park rides. If a person has not experienced a similar event, prediction is very difficult. The more experiences a child has, the better they will be able to predict an experience.

Estimating is an attempt to determine an accurate answer. For instance, if you are estimating the arrival time of an airplane flying from San Francisco to New York, you would take the time of departure and add about 5 hours. You would also have to take into account a 3 hour difference in time. This information will allow you can estimate time of arrival. An accurate answer would be considered a realistic answer. For example, if you ask a student to estimate the number of beans in a cup and they answer, "20 million," the answer is not accurate. Estimation requires thinking, it is not just any answer.

PROCEDURE:

Many times scientists have to predict the outcome of their experiment in order to design the experiment.  In this lab, students will predict or estimate the volume, weight, length, time, and taste of items without touching them.  They will then determine if their predictions are correct by going to each station and actually doing the experiment.

  1.  Prior to the students doing the lab, set up materials in stations and have the students rotate to each station.  Use the enclosed labels to identify the stations.  The kit contains some of the materials for each of the stations, but these can be substituted by other appropriate materials.  Additional materials such as boxes or household materials are needed to complete the stations. This lab my require two lab periods especially if children have never estimated or predicted before.

PRIOR TO THE LAB:

At each station display the following questions on index cards (enclosed).  The cards should have the following set up:

  1. VOLUME - WHICH ONE HAS THE MOST WATER?
    Display two glasses, or jars, of different shapes.  Fill one with more water than the other.  To demonstrate the answer to students you can pour the contents of the jars into measuring cups (need to provide) and measure the quantity in each container.
      
  2. WEIGHT - WHICH ONE IS LIGHTEST IN WEIGHT?
    Display the one large white rock (diatomite) (in your kit, very light chalk), and find something smaller but heavier.  Use the primary balance to find the answer.  Try and make the lighter rock larger than the other item.  You may want to discuss that diatomite is made up of tiny fossils (diatoms) that have hole, making the rock light (less dense)  and almost fluffy. 
      
  3. LENGTH - WHICH ONE IS LONGEST?
    Display one abalone shell and two types of marine snails (in kit).  Provide a ruler for students to measure each sample.
      
  4. WEIGHT - WHICH ONE WEIGHTS THE MOST? 
    Display a sea cookie  and a flower coral (in kit).  Weigh  them with the primary balance.
      
  5. LENGTH - WHICH IS LONGEST?
    Display 2 animal cut outs (in kit).  Measure the width of both with a ruler.  Which is widest?
      
  6. SOUR - WHICH ONE IS MOST SOUR?
    Purchase 2 types of yellow candy, one sour and one sweet (need to provide).  If available, make one sugarless.  Allow students to "taste them" to get the answer.
      
  7. VOLUME - WHICH ONE HAS THE MOST WATER?
    This station is similar to number 1, but use tall and short glasses instead.  Graduated cylinders are ideal (need to provide).
      
  8. WEIGHT - WHICH ONE IS WEIGHS THE LESS?
    Display two objects and have students determine which one weighs the less by using a primary balance.
      
  9. TIME  - WHICH ONE IS THE LONGEST?
    Display two timers (in kit)  To test them, have students flip over both timers at the same time and determine which takes longer to empty.  
      
  10. LIQUID - WHICH ONE IS THE SLOWEST?
    Display a jar of honey and another liquid (need to provide). Make sure the lids are tightly closed.  Introduce the word viscous.  Explain that viscous means thick. Turn the jars on their sides and upside down to observe the movement of the liquids to test the viscosity of the liquid.
      
  1. Discuss length, volume, weight (make sure you discuss heavy and light), liquid, and sour taste. 
      
  2. Explain to students that they will move from station to station as a group looking at different things.  They will have 2 to 3 minutes at each station. At each station have them predict the answer to each question.  They cannot touch anything at this time.  Explain that after everyone has made their predictions, they will be able to "test" them.
      
  3. After everyone has made their predictions let the students do the tests at the stations.  If it is not practical to allow the groups to do all the testing, the teacher can demonstrate some or all of the stations.  Allow up to five minutes per station.  Students should record the results of the tests in the corresponding  column on their lab sheets.  Remind the students that it does not matter if their predictions were correct or not.  Science involves learning the true answers.  In science we learn from right answers as well as wrong answers.

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