Monday, September 1, 2008

Scientific Method Lab

I woke up this morning and decided that I was going to use this day off from work to do an extended science lesson. My husband first gave a short lecture on the scientific method and read aloud from the textbook. Meanwhile I searched on the net for a basic lab to illustrate the point - something a nine-year old could do, but with very little prep on my part. Thank God for Google. I found this blog by a physics teacher named Scott. I want to give him props here by posting a link:

Introducing the Scientific Method

When I did the lab, I inverted one (of four) batteries, put tape over one of the battery ports, inverted the entire battery capsule, and failed to screw on the cap very tight. Then I had EE make some predictions about what was wrong with the flashlight simply by looking at the flashlight. She came up with six:

- dead battery
- upside down battery
- no battery
- piece of paper/foreign object trapped inside
- burned out light bulb
- broken switch

Her guesses were pretty good. It took her three attempts before she had it working again. We wrote down the steps she took each time.

Test 1: removed tape, tightened the cap

Test 2: flipped battery capsule

Test 3: flipped one battery

Finally, I wrote the steps of the scientific method on strips of paper and had her put them in order. Then I asked her to tell me which step corresponded with what we did.

Very easy, effective lab. Thanks to teacher Scott.

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