Category Archives: Science

Testing solvents

Today, Bluebirds carried out an investigation to find the most effective solvent to remove nail varnish. They wore goggles and gloves and really looked like scientists! First, they predicted which solvents they thought would work. They tested water, bleach, hydrochloric acid, ethanol (meth spirits) and propanone (acetone). Each group of three, were given a tile and then painted 5 lines of nail varnish on to it. The group then dipped a cotton bud into one of the solvents, to try and remove the varnish.

Video: Experiment using air

This afternoon, Bluebirds had great fun experimenting with air today.

They watched Mrs Parry and Mrs Johnson knock down a pyramid of cups using an airzooka, which is a gadget that shoots out puffs of air. When they pulled back the tab on the airzooka, it sucked in some air and as they released the tab, it shot the air out very quickly! Some brave volunteers even balanced cups on their heads….Mrs Johnson was a very good aim!

As we couldn’t see the air, we used a smoke machine to understand (and see) how the airzooka created kinetic energy which made the smoke travel. It then began to lose kinetic energy as it travelled through air. The smoke began to dissolve as it travelled because it mixed with air particles.

Video: Experimenting with solutions

Bluebirds discussed the meaning of mixtures (solutions) today and found out how they will move and fill any spaces. We talked about filling a jar with marbles, sand and water. Kai explained Why cornflakes don’t disappear in milk and neither does the sugar… but it dissolves.

Outside, Bluebirds were really excited to watch the coke and mentos experiment!

When Mrs Johnson released the Mentos mints into the bottle, the sugar free Coke erupted out of the bottle and shot high into the air. The Mentos contain gelatine and gum Arabic which reacted with the Coke, separating the carbon dioxide gas from it.

Chemical change

Today, Bluebirds discussed how a chemical change occurs (either by giving off heat, colour or a smell and changing shape or size. The children experienced a chemical change when they conducted an experiment. They filled a plate with full fat milk and added drops of food colouring. Next they placed a cocktail stick, dipped in detergent, vertically into the mixture.

What happened?
Evie – It looks like it’s changing back to just milk.
Brooke Ba – it’s like the milk and colours doesn’t like the washing up liquid and is moving away from it.
Harry – One liquid is stronger than the other.
Poppy – it’s because they a different liquids.
Amber – The detergent thinks the colours are dirt and is separating them.

Why did this happen?

The children loved the “magic milk” experiment. Here are some photos of them conducting the experiment:

Video: Thermal Energy

Bluebirds have been investigating how thermal heat moves between objects. First, the children predicted what would happen to the spirals when they were placed over the heat and then tested the experiment. Next, the children felt two tiles (one made of aluminium and one made of MDF), and predicted which one would melt an ice cube quicker.

Most of the children thought that the MDF tile would melt the ice quicker because it felt warmer to the touch. Mrs Parry told the children that both tiles were actually the same temperature. The children discussed metal being a good conductor.

Energy!

Bluebirds have been learning about energy (the ability to do work) and have discovered that energy comes in lots of different ways and cannot be created or destroyed. Kezi helped Mrs Parry to perform a class demonstration of Galileo’s rolling ball, with a long track and ball bearing. The class discussed which types of energy was used and also consided where energy was wasted which slowed the ball down (kinetic, thermal and sound). Each child, had great fun experimenting with a springy toy and there was lots of discussion around potential and movement energy.
Today, the class devised experiments involving pendulums which uses potential and kinetic energy.