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littlemcbam littlemcbam is offline
 
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Low supply experiments
Old 05-05-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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I am working at a private school. I'm trying to get some stuff ready for next year already! We have a lack of supplies and I don't have the personal funds to be able to purchase supplies. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to present the following concepts without many supplies. Or any projects to do without many supplies? (I also lack creativity, unfortunately.)
Animals- behavior
Plants- behavior and photosynthesis
Force
Light
Sound
Space
Rocks and Minerals

Thanks in advance for your help!


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Sound
Old 05-05-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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You can use rulers and text books to do a great experiment fro sound. Place a ruler on a student desk. Place a few books on top of the ruler. Pull the ruler out beyond the desk a couple of inches. Press down on the pile of books above the ruler to keep the ruler from moving. Now with your other hand strum the end of the ruler.

Now do it again with about 4 inches of the ruler sticking out beyond the desk.

Once again with about six inches of the ruler sticking out.

Listen for a change in pitch. The shorter or smaller an instrument the higher the pitch. The longer or bigger the instrument, the lower the pitch.

Plus, with this experiment it is easy to see that vibrations make the sound.

Also, do you have a music teacher? if so, see if you can borrow two tuning forks of different sizes. The smaller one will make a higher pitch sound. The larger one will make a lower pitch sound.

Also look at Steve Spangler's website. He has some colorful pitch pipes made of plastic that are pretty inexpensive and great fun for sound experiments.
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books
Old 05-06-2011, 09:45 PM
 
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I have found a few books that have helped - one is being borrowed right now, but the others I have at school. Check out your local teaching stores and see what you can find (that's where I found mine). If requested, I'll give the titles of the books I have next week.
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:41 AM
 
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My go-to science experiment book is the Science Experiments in A Box series. They have all diff. age groups/levels available and they're broken out into Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, etc. I've found that most of them have readily accessible materials, as well. It's designed to be such that you can gather everything you need for the experiment (basically) and store it in a shoebox-sized box until you need it each year...I've never actually gotten around to doing that, but I think it's a great idea.
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Observation and Inquiry
Old 05-07-2011, 03:52 AM
 
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Don't know what grade...

Animals- world around them such as behavior of a pet, behavior of squirrels, behavior of birds (all these could be everyday behavior, behavior before a season change, behavior before a storm, etc.)

Plants- don't know where you live, but in the northeast it's easy due to seasonal changes- in a school year we have all four season as far as deciduous trees are concerned!)


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Old 05-07-2011, 04:25 AM
 
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Animals -- have kids draw (label them as some kids' elephants look like donkeys, etc.) a bunch of different animals (and plants and the sun) and make an extensive food web on your wall using bright yarn to connect them. You might want to think about what types of animals and plants you want because if you let them pick, you'll have 100 penguins (or whatever is the "cool" animal that month) and nothing else.

And the caterpillar-butterfly kit from Insect Lore is not too expensive.

Another fun thing is to take a look at bird beaks and how they are designed for a certain diet or method of eating. Oh, I've never done it so you'd have to google it, but you can kick off that study by having a table of objects that birds "eat" (seeds, nectar in a flower -- make a model, worm (cooked spaghetti?), etc.) and a collection of grabbers (tweezers, straw, hook, etc.). What grabbers pick up what food? That's how bird beaks work. Bird feet are also designed for certain jobs. Ducks swim. Woodpeckers have to hold on tight to thick trunks, other birds grab onto thin branches, some birds wade...

Plants. It's inexpensive to sprout seeds in different light conditions. Good way to introduce scientific method.

Force: A day at the playground observing helps with force. And, get a ruler with grooves on it and line up three or so marbles in the groove. Roll a fourth marble and watch the marble on the end get knocked away. The energy was transfered from rolling marble to the next to the next to the last which rolled away.

Light: You can teach a lot using: http://www.rainbowsymphonystore.com/difgratglas.html Keep them for next year! Also, use an old CD (the side without writing) to act as a prism breaking up white light. Put several small mirrors on stands or let students hold hand mirrors to bounce a laser (cheap ones are in pet stores in the kitty toy aisle) light around. Or a penlight if you are afraid your kids will shine the laser in others' faces.

Sound: Listen to different instruments. Also, stretch some plastic wrap (such as Saran) over an empty glass cup so that it is tight and not bumpy. Sprinkle some salt or sugar on the saran wrap. Challenge the kids to move the salt without touching the table, stomping on the floor, blowing on it or trying to make wind by waving their hands. Most kids won't figure it out but to move the salt, all they need to do is say "aaahh" loudly over the salt and the sound vibrations move the salt. Music, near enough the salt, does the same. You can teach the qualities of music (tone, pitch, timbre, loudness).

Space: Go to the old standard of making a playground sized solar system model using a basketball and marbles. Since you can't see the marbles from far away, have a child stand next to each one. Google instructions on this.

Rocks/Minerals: Long ago, I saw a file folder "game" for the rock cycle which had a die you folded up. I wonder if you couldn't find it somewhere online. That was like a decade ago. Anyway, instead of making file folder games (which is a fine idea) you can make six signs for the six "stations" and post them around the room or even around the playground. Each child chooses a station to start in and has their own personal die (or maybe have groups of two or four kids share a die). They start by rolling the die and the "game" tells them that from this station ("you are molten lava underground") where to go next based on the die roll. Sometimes a kid stays at the same station for many turns, just like a rock stays a certain type of rock for many turns. Oh I guess I ought to go look for that game...

Kids can also go on a rock hunt and you can bring in household minerals such as makeup (even those not labeled "mineral" depends on minerals for color), jewelry, cleaners like scouring powders, sand, chalk, Tums, dishes, etc. If you put certain minerals (calcium carbonate) in vinegar, it bubbles.
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