Thursday, October 11, 2012

Preschool Science Experiment - Will an Object Float or Sink

I teach 4 and 5 year olds.  The current class has 13 and I have a coteacher.  Generally we each have a project going at the same time.

With that out of the way, this week we studied the letter F.  What better time to discover if an item floats or sinks?!  I found several inspiration pages on the internet and decided to combine them with ideas of my own.    On the green tray were placed items that we see regularly in class like blocks, toy cars, a toy turtle, cotton balls, buttons and feathers.  Did you know that wooden blocks can float?  Science is full of surprises.

On the yellow tray I put a clear bowl.  In that I poured water.  I had two children at a time come over to the table and we discussed what we thought would float and what would sink.  And we tried it out. That cotton balls would absorb water and sink surprised some.

The second part of the experiment was a little different.  I brought 2 pint jars, lots of salt and some raw eggs out.  I filled both jars with water.  I had one child put a raw egg in the first jar and it sunk to the bottom.  Into the second jar I had each child put a few tablespoons of salt into the pint jar.  I put some in also.  I asked them where they would find salt water and most everyone knew that it was in the ocean.  Then I had child #2 put in the egg.  It didn't sink to the bottom but didn't float like it was supposed to.  So we poured in more salt, waited for a moment and the egg floated to the top!  Very cool.  We talked about how scientists write down what they see (observations) and filled out the top half of the work sheet which I will put up on my next post for anyone to use who wants to.  Then I took the eggs out of the pint jars.

But we were not done yet.  Next we put in green food coloring into the plain water.  The color swirled through the water and turned everything green.  We put some in the salt water.  And the color laid on the top of the jar.  We recorded these observations also.  The children put their observation sheet into their cubbies and I cleaned up the mess to get ready for the next pair of children.

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