gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Careful Observations Using a Mealworm

2nd Graders love the meal worm project.  Students spend over a month observing the changes of a mealworm from larva, pupa, to adult.  Students like to build obstacle courses to watch the mealworms crawl on different materials and respond to the environment. Looking at a mealworm is a natural way to bring up the discussion of how to classify animals.  Is it an insect, worm, or centipede? Many students become attached to their mealworm like a pet and are always surprised when it turns into a darkling beetle.

img_3663

Leave a comment »

Designing and Testing Windmills

img_5380            img_5379

3rd Graders continued their work as engineers by designing the most effective windmill to lift up washers in a cup.  Students used their knowledge they gained from the sail boat challenge to make a successful windmill design.  Students had to decide how many blades to use and what kind material and shape to use for their blade.  Many of the students were able to lift 15 – 2o washers by taking advantage of air resistance and adjusting the blades at the right angle.   Students discovered the value of frustration and failure as they made many adjustments to improve their design.

Leave a comment »

Journey North Symbolic Monarch Migration

2nd graders are participating in the Journey North Symbolic Migration.  In both Spanish and science class students learned about the yearly monarch migration to the  mountains of Mexico.  Students created their own class butterfly and smaller individual butterflies and sent them to a school in Mexico.  Students in Mexico will house the butterflies in their classroom during the winter and return the butterflies to school’s across North America in the spring.  It’s an exciting project that integrates what they are learning in both Spanish and science.

Leave a comment »

Making the Perfect Sail Design

 

3rd Grade Students having been studying the effects of wind and sail design in science class.  They will spend the next few classes making different designs of sails choosing the shape, material, and size of the sail. With this knowledge, the students will be able to build their own windmill that can lift washers off the ground. Students have experimented with different designs to see which variable help the boat travel farther with the help of a fan and a long fishing line track.

Leave a comment »

Studying Local Watershed with LMC

img_5251

5th Graders were introduced to watersheds in the classroom today by the Lower Merion Conservancy. Students learned about our local watershed (Mill Creek, Shuylkill, and Delware) and created a model of a watershed using a homemade topographical map. Students will be monitoring the Mill Creek throughout the year at nearby Ashbridge Park.

Leave a comment »

LowerSchool MakerSpace

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lower School students  have been enjoying the makerspace after school.  Some projects include making a homemade speaker for an Iphone, a lighted zipline made of cardboard, a homemade flashlight, a magnetic fishing carnival game, and playing with the ollie.

Leave a comment »

IMG_4673

Our Second Grade Class was outside and found a toad hopping around the campus. What a great way to end the year with the second grade class.  It’s starting to feel like summer around here!

Leave a comment »

Making Solar Ovens

 

3rd Graders are finishing the year with their last engineering project. Students designed a solar oven that was stuffed with insulation materials. Since our data indicated the shredded material held the heat the most, we collected materials around the room and shredded them before fitting them into the box.  We reused materials such as foam and styrofoam peanuts to put in our box.  Reusing materials rather than throwing them in the trash is more environmentally friendly.  The biggest motivation was the S’MORES we will be cooking in the ovens to celebrate a year of creative learning in science!

Leave a comment »

littleBits Band

IMG_4649

fifth graders finished the year sharing their innovation projects. The picture above shows a littleBits band that includes a synth guitar, microphone, and drum set.  This project combined multiple creations into one.  What a great way to end a year of Innovation Days!

Leave a comment »

Little Pig Design Challenge

This week our kindergarten students were presented with a design challenge.  They needed to choose materials and design a house that the pig could live in safely.  If the big bad wolf (AKA hairdryer) were to come to the house, the building design should be able to withstand 30 seconds of a hair dryer blowing at high speed. We discussed the importance of having a roof, four walls, and a strong foundation. We used a variety of materials including legos, paper, cardboard, foam, aluminum foil, craft sticks, wax paper, wooden rods, plastic cubes, and pipe cleaners.  The houses are almost finished.  Next week we add some finishing touches and test their strength with a hair dryer.  We can’t wait!.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment »