critical thinking

Changing How We Look at Changing

I love it when teachers ask questions! I alway enjoy a good science question because they make me really think about the subject to be sure I give the right answer, but when a teacher asks a question, I feel obligated to give an answer (if I can) that will let them explain the subject to their students. Recently, I have been talking with a teacher friend, about chemical and physical changes, and the more we talked, the more I thought the rest of you might find this useful.

Boomerangs

This week's experiment comes from conversation I had with some talented science educators. We got into a discussion that ranged from gyroscopes to bicycles. The conversation led us into talking about boomerangs, so of course we had to make some paper ones to play with. The dynamics are a bit different with the paper ones, but they are still lots of fun.

Big Numbers

This time we will take a look at some big numbers. In the study of science, you will run into all sorts of very large numbers, and it can get to be overwhelming.

Bernoulli in the Shower?

This experiment came as an accidental discovery while working on a different experiment idea. I was playing with ideas for showing how inertia helps remove water from your clothes in the spin cycle of the washing machine. In the process, I saw something interesting, and made a wrong guess about the cause. That led to even more interesting discoveries. There are times when it is more fun to be wrong, because it lets you learn new things.

Bean Power

This experiment comes from tonight's supper. I have been craving a big pot of Great Northern Beans; so last night I put some into a pot of water to soak overnight. The results reminded me of a fun science experiment I had done before.

Bad Chocolate?

I mentioned that I had a lot of fun experimenting with carbonated soda (and drinking it) and that I should do an experiment with chocolate. I got quite a few e-mails suggesting experiments with chocolate, but this one was the most common. It has to do with the white discoloration that you sometimes find on old chocolate.

Arm Raising

This experiment is something that we used do for fun when I was a kid. (No jokes about dinosaurs or the Dark Ages, please.) It was back in the days before video games and the internet. Back in the days when there were only 4 TV channels and you had to get up and turn the dial on the TV to change the channel. Even so, we still had lots of fun. This is a science trick that always amazes people.

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