General Science & Other Thoughts

In my last science post, I wrote up the list of supplies I was ordering for high school Biology. This time, I’ll tell you about the supplies for General Science.

Please keep in mind that there are also supplies I’ll purchase at the grocery store or hardware store, especially for general science. This a jr high level course, for 7th, 8th and 9th graders, so is more of a broad introduction to a variety of areas of science. The higher level the course, the more specialized materials you’ll need. For doing science with my own Year 1 student, unless we want to do something super crazy fun (which we do sometimes!) it’s all stuff we just have around the house.

For more on doing science with Littles, check out this post I wrote several years ago.

General Science Supplies

So, for general science, I plan to get from homesciencetools.com:

(1) Know Your Minerals Kit

(2) Know Your Rocks Kit

(3) Geology Field Trip in a Bag Kit

After going through the book, these were what I thought I couldn’t just get from a local store, but would be beneficial for students to work with. They are extras and the whole class will use the kits, but I think it will expand the student’s knowledge of geology in a fun way. Hands-on is always good!

There will be some sharing between Biology and General Science. I’m not set on what those things are, but it will likely be the frog hatchery kit, the root viewer kit and the carnivorous fungi. I’ll make sure that the schedules for the courses line up so both classes can experience what these things offer.

They will all get a nature journal for keeping track of what they learn. This is one form of narration that is super useful in science.

Homesciencetools.com is having a 10% off sale if your order through Aug 15.

Science Fair!

These are the years for science fair! Around here, the local homeschool organization hosts a science fair, and many schools will host one also. I know 7th grade is when most students do science fair, though older students can participate also. Your student will need to decide soon on a topic, as the local fair is usually held in the fall. Should your student place in 1st, 2nd or 3rd, they will get to go to the regional fair. Even if your student has no desire to really pursue doing science fair, it can be a good experience for doing an extended experiment with the requirements of keeping good records, documenting the steps and the results and presenting the results to others. Here in Texas, the fair is “The┬áScience & Engineering Fair”, so most any topic within the sciences or engineering is acceptable. If you are in the Waco area and your students wants to participate, there is a teacher/parent informational meeting on Sept 12 at Baylor University. There is a cost to attend, but its minimal if you are a homeschooling parent. Contact me if you want more information about this.

 

 

This week’s ‘science’ activity

I mentioned in my last post that I hadn’t figured out a good ‘science’ activity for this week, yet. Well, one sorta got sprung on me. See if you can figure out what ‘science’ is going on here:

a bit of sand....

a bit of sand….

carry it carefully...

carry it carefully…

put into water

put into water

observe effects on how the water pours

observe effects on how the water pours

see how the water falls on the sand in the water....

see how the water falls on the sand in the water….

Good thing sand is 'cheap'! (at least I'm not buying it, Mom-mom is.)

Good thing sand is ‘cheap’! (at least I’m not buying it, Mom-mom is.)

That evening, I told Hubby “Our science activity today just happened on a whim. We observed the effects of sediment on the flow of water.”

“You mean you made mud?”

Yes!

New microbe found eating Gulf oil spill – Disaster in the Gulf – msnbc.com

New microbe found eating Gulf oil spill – Disaster in the Gulf – msnbc.com:

This is the most beautiful thing! There is a critter that EATS oil. Sure, there are always issues with some specific critter suddenly flourishing above and beyond anything its done before, but when the resource is gone, the population will decrease. My students thought this was the coolest thing ever. Probably helps that I was just about jumping up and down with excitement over it. If there is a niche to be filled, something will fill it. Such total coolness.
Add to it… BP was funding the $500 million, 10 year grant. Hmmmm…. I’ve doubted how ‘evil’ BP might be, and this points to more ‘stupidity’ involved in this leak than evilness.
I wonder what next cool thing we will discover!