8th grade student have been learning all about chemical bonds. They have spent the last several days learning to draw, model and name ionic and covalent compounds, and they also learned about metallic and hydrogen bonds. They’ve done such a great job!
On Friday, after completing their quiz, students modeled ionic and covalent bonds with gumdrops. It was a sweet way to end a week packed with learning and tackling challenging concepts!
Here are some pictures and examples of what these students have been working on in class each day. I’m so proud of them and the hard work they’ve done!
What’s Halloween without a little “Mad Science?”
Today was the perfect day to begin our study of chemical reactions! We learned about Acid-Base reactions using vinegar and baking soda. This reaction releases carbon dioxide, which we used to blow up “ghost balloons.” We also made “bubbling potions” with vegetable oil, water, and Alka Seltzer tablets. We mixed some of these with highlighter ink and observed them glowing in the dark with black lights! Such a fun day of learning!
Candy + Chemistry = a great day learning about atoms!
Did you know that a single human hair is about a million carbon atoms wide? As tiny as that is, the atom is mostly empty space with an even smaller nucleus. In fact, if we could blow up an atom to be the size of a large professional football stadium, the nucleus would only be about the size of a marble!
8th grade scientists identified elements from the Periodic Table by creating candy models of the nuclei of atoms. This lesson was so much fun, and it really helped students grasp a challenging concept. Thank you SO MUCH to all the amazing parents who donated candy and other items. We had plenty of Skittles to create our models and some to eat, too! Days like this wouldn’t be possible without your help and generosity!
6th grade science students are excited to share our GSMS Litterless Lunch Campaign! Beginning October 1, we’d love to see everyone bringing litter-free lunch boxes to school each day. Students can help our planet and earn house points at the same time!
Watch this awesome video our amazing students created for more info!
6th graders have been learning how to identify minerals by their physical properties. Each student was given an unknown mineral, and they performed streak tests, hardness tests, determined luster, tested for magnetism, and observed color, fracture and cleavage.
Once they collected and organized their data, students were able to conduct research to correctly identify their minerals. We found that our specimens included pyrite, calcite, jade, various types of quartz, and more!
Students were most surprised to learn that a mineral’s streak can be a totally different color than the actual mineral and that some are magnetic! We also learned about the “super sites” in Alabama where a wealth of minerals can be found, and now we also know how extremely important minerals are in our everyday lives- from our food to our cars and homes!
8th graders are continuing to learn about matter, and this week we’re investigating atomic structure. Today, we leaned about protons, neutrons and electrons, and students applied their new knowledge by “charging” balloons with their hair. This caused the balloons to pick up electrons, giving the balloons a negative charge. When students brought the charged balloons near some positively charged confetti, the paper moved toward the balloon. (Opposites attract!)
This investigation was really fun and helped students illustrate and understand a pretty challenging concept. And the best part? Students were engaged in their learning! I heard kids so many times say, “This is like magic!”
It has been all about matter! 8th grade scientists have investigated phases of matter, density, phase changes, and temperature through labs, research, and simulations.
We learned how temperature reflects the kinetic energy present in particles of matter by observing the speeds at which food coloring disperses in hot, cold, and room temperature water. We learned that some liquids actually float on top of water due to density. We mixed salt and ice in empty soup cans, and observed and explained on the molecular level why a low enough temperature can cause the water vapor in air to condense to liquid water and then freeze to form ice. One lab group even made a very cool time-lapse video of this process!
These kids have also done some Claim-Evidence-Reason writing to connect their learning from labs to our learning targets. To say I’m proud of them is an understatement.
Science can be SWEET!
8th graders used chocolate chip cookies to practice identifying physical properties of matter. First, students were each given a cookie inside a ziplock bag, and they came up with 10 characteristics to describe them. Some of their observations included the number of visible chocolate chips, mass of their cookies, measurements, etc. They also sketched their cookies from the front and back. Then, we mixed all their cookies up, and students used their written observations to identify the one that belonged to them. We had great discussions about which properties were most useful for identifying their cookies, and we learned about other physical properties of matter.
What a fun (and delicious) way to kick off our study of matter!
6th Graders worked through the steps of the scientific method with a fingerprint lab. It was so interesting to analyze our fingerprints and determine which types we have. We also created graphs of our class results, and then followed up with a writing activity. They did such a great job!
“You have a fingerprint that no one else has, so you can leave an impact that no one else can.”
8th graders put the scientific method into action on Friday with our Drops on a Penny Lab. Students made a hypothesis stating how many drops of water would fit on the Lincoln side of their pennies. After completing 3 trials, they shared their conclusions. Next, we’ll create graphs with their data and compare their findings.
We had great conversations about the validity of this experiment and whether it’s possible to definitively state how many drops of water can fit on a penny with this lab procedure. We determined that there are too many independent variables and the number of a constants is too limited for this procedure to be reliable.
These kids have some incredible problem-solving skills, and they did a great job of recognizing procedures that left room for discrepancies in their results- age/condition of the pennies, size of their pipettes, size of the water drops, etc. They also had great ideas for how to improve the procedure and even came up with other experimental designs for testing other coins!