investigations and experiments

A Class Science Project

“I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.”

Confucius, Chinese philosopher

Many of the things that students struggle with in the process of doing a science fair project are the result of not fully understanding unfamiliar tasks. If they have never written an abstract, or even read one, the challenge of composing one for their project can be truly daunting. The same is true for selecting a good topic for their project, properly stating their hypothesis, controlling variables, etc.

Black and White Smoke

Sorry this week's experiment is late.  I got caught up in answering a question from MSNBC's Countdown program.  It turned out to be interesting enough for me to put the planned experiment for this week back in the file and write a new one.

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.

Balloon Chase

This experiment is one that I played with while waiting for the time for my Electricity show to start. I started with one balloon, and then added another. Then I began experimenting with other materials, and managed to pass the time very quickly.