Thursday, September 29, 2011

Real Science Odyssey: Chemistry

I wrote a few posts back about purchasing the RSO Chemistry ebook from Pandia Press for our science curriculum.  Their ebooks are currently on sale through the end of September.  I ended up buying the Level One Life Science curriculum too.  I just love how their curriculum is set up and I am loving the ebook format.  I can easily print off only what we need and multiple copies of the lab pages for both boys.  For now we are doing science twice per week.  I teach it on Wednesday mornings and my husband (the one with the PhD in science and who is a college science professor) teaches on Thursday mornings.  While he is better qualified to answer questions than I am, I'm really excited that I get to teach part of this great curriculum to the boys.

On Wednesday we did a fun lab to discover how small atoms are.  First I read the "for my notebook" pages to the boys.  These are pages that explain the concepts in kid-friendly, attention-grabbing language.  We learned that a 2 mm dash like this "__" contains 40 million atoms.  Isn't that amazing?  For the lab, we smelled some uninflated rubber balloons and examined them closely with a magnifying glass to be sure there were no holes.  Then (with the boys in the other room), I put a small amount of water in one, some cinnamon in one, some almond extract in one, and some lemon extract in another.  I then inflated the balloons and numbered them.  They boys smelled the balloons to try and guess what each contained.  The gist of the lesson is that atoms are so small that the "scent" atoms from the cinnamon and extracts were able to "squeeze" between the atoms of the balloon so we could smell them. Pretty amazing when you think about it.  I just love how hands-on and fun the labs are.  Hubs gets to do one on Thursday morning which explores how atoms move.  I'll try to remember to get photos.  Here's one photo of the balloon lab that I managed to take.

One more thing before I forget.............I keep pretty close tabs on the stats for this blog.  If you like what you're reading here and don't want to have to remember to keep checking, please consider signing up for an email subscription.  You can do so using the link in the right sidebar.  It's FREE and that way you'll get updates via email each time I post.  Just a tip for those of you who don't use Google Reader to keep track of your blog reading.

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