Science Enrichment

Science/Enrichment, Ashford School, Ashford, CT

Summer Science

Be a scientist this summer!

Grades 1-3, choose one task;
grades 4 & 5, choose 2 tasks:
1. Explore a science topic that interests you and tell what you learn and what questions you have. How you explore it is up to you! You might keep track of how many monarch butterflies you see and visit the online monarch map, how the sunset time changes each night, or the leaves you find and identify on a hike. You might keep a journal, write a letter, keep a log, or label a collection.
2. Go outside and observe something in nature over a period of time. Write down what you are observing, any changes you see, and your questions and observations. Draw a picture and label it.
3. Conduct a science experiment and write what you observed and learned: Your question or topic, your observations, and what you learned from the experiment.
4. Read a non-fiction science book and write a review: title, author, what it was about, and if you liked it.
This should be handed in to Mrs. Moran or your classroom teacher during the first week of school in September.

Hot Air Balloons

4th Graders launched hot air balloons and observed that hot air rises!

Tree identification

Tree Identification Key
1st graders each "adopted" a tree on the playground. They're measuring the circumference of the trunk, making leaf rubbings and identifying leaf characteristics, observing why their tree is healthy and what animals live in the tree.

Geodesic Dome

5th graders constructed a geodesic dome using pvc pipe and a little muscle. We are learning about the strength of triangles. Next will make a smaller version, using toothpicks and gumdrops for the edges and vertices.

Pinhole Photography

As an extension to a science unit on light and color
, students in 5th grade constructed pinhole cameras out of oatmeal boxes and are taking pictures with them. We have one small light leak in each camera (the pinhole) and the exposure time is between 2-3 minutes. 5th graders have shown they can stay very still and quiet for that amount of time! We are also experimenting with ghost images and movement. Unfortunately we cannot control for variables like the weather and sunlight!

Oatmeal box pinhole photography

Our class photo from a pinhole camera!
exposure: 2 minutes

Chicks hatch May 23

After 21 days of incubation, our chicks hatched while many students watched. During the past three weeks, we candled eggs and observed the growing embryos, blood vessels, shrinking yolks, and air cells. Students kept a journal of the changes. We will weigh the chicks, name them and write birth announcements shortly!

photo 3.JPG photo 4.JPG
About raising chickens

The Reason for a Flower...

2nd graders dissected flowers and observed the reproductive organs and their function. We found the stamen, pistil, petals, nectar, and of course, pollen!

The Secret Life of Flowers

3-D stereoscopic sight

5th graders have been learning about light and color this half of the year. We constructed 3-D glasses and viewed some really cool photos!
Image library
3D skies
How to make 3D images/NASA
2nd graders finished up the rock cycle by learning about volcanoes. We set off our own "volcano" with Mentos and Diet Coke on the playground, which offered a little more excitement than the past baking soda and vinegar version.
about volcanoes

Vampire bats (and other cool animals)

1st graders are learning about features and behaviors of different animals and how they have adapted to survive. We began with mammals, and learned about the starnosed mole, blue whale, wolf, and now the vampire bat. Next we'll learn about reptiles and are anticipating a visit from Mrs. Dockendorff's bearded dragon lizard, Puff, and a boa constrictor and king snake from a nearby herpetologist (caged).
National Geo for kids

3rd graders learned about their ethnic heritage: they made family trees, learned the meaning of their family surnames, and made a family coat of arms. We will culminate the unit with a simulation of Ellis Island: students will dress as immigrants and experience a few of the tests taken at Ellis Island 100 years ago. Thanks to Mrs. Bryce's 8th graders who will be the officials.
Ellis island photos (past)
Ellis Island 2
Ellis Island 3
Find the meaning of your surname

States of matter

2nd and 3rd graders are investigating states of matter: observing ice balloons, developing definitions for matter, solids, liquids, and gases, and looking at what causes changes in these states of matter. Students end the unit by making a polymer GAK and determining if it is a liquid or a solid. We will also make ice cream and watch salt lower the freezing point of water!
Molecules in solids- #16
Molecules in liquids- #17
Evaporation & Condensation- #18
Expansion & contraction- #19
Measuring temperature- #20
Temperature vs heat- #21
Intro to solids, liquids, gas
quick overview

Nervous system

5th graders learned about their central nervous system earlier in the year. We mapped our brain, motor nerves, sensory nerves, senses and spinal column, then tested each our senses.

A sheep eye dissection helped 5th graders learn about their sense of sight and structure and function of the eye. We were able to find many parts, including the optic nerve, cornea, pupil, lens, and retina! Here are a few good sites for those who were uncomfortable with the dissection:

Neuroscience for kids
Cow eye dissection
Why animals' eyes glow in the dark

Star nosed mole

The most amazing nose on the planet- is it a sense of smell or touch? 1st graders are learning about mammals and we focused on the amazing characteristics of the star nosed mole. 5th graders are learning about their senses and we will also learn about this mammal's amazing sense of touch.
Animal Planet
4th graders are investigating electricity using wire, batteries and various bulbs. Students will be using some of these sites to learn more about electricity:
Circuit challenges
Electricity experiments
More experiments
Ben Franklin
Energy hog
Energy quest
atoms- #22
electrons #23
conduction- #24