RE: doing experiments in class

From: "Noble, Alice" <noblea@88ABW.WPAFB.AF.MIL>
Subject: RE: doing experiments in class
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 1997 12:18:32 -0500

thanks for the idea, i am doing a k-4 workshop and will use this with
the teachers did you have a particular form that you used for their

> ----------
> From: 	Marc Siegel[]
> Reply To:
> Sent: 	Wednesday, December 24, 1997 10:38 AM
> To:
> Subject: 	doing experiments in class
> Hi,
> I was interested to read the active discussion yesterday.  As a
> manager
> at Quest, I don't get much first hand experience with what happens
> in classrooms, so I find the insights offered very useful. Thanks.
> I wanted to share an experience I had recently when I was invited to
> my
> nephew's class (3rd grade) to do a NASA presentation.  I talked a bit
> about the Mars Pathfinder mission (I love describing the wacky
> basketball
> style bounce landing), but the most fun was when we did an experiment
> about
> dropping marbles into a tray of flour. The point was to find how the 
> speed of the impact (height of the drop) related tothe size of the
> crater
> and the diameter of the ejecta.  it wa clear that the kids almost
> never
> got a chance to actually experiment, and the energy level during this
> time was quite high.
> I think we determined quite well that though the crater size gets a
> bit 
> bigger with increasing speed, the diameter of the ejecta really
> increases.
> Kids were able to reach these conclusions from the data we took, and
> it
> was really fun.
> I was most surprised at how excited kids were to do the experiments
> (it is
> fun to chuck marbles and watch flour fly), but how taking the data and
> drawing conclusion weren't greeted with near the enthusiasm. In
> retrospect,
> I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was.  So we found ourselves
> talking a lot about about recording data and analyzing it is the real
> reason for experiments (in the real world), not just having fun doing
> the
> experiment. 
> Anyway, it was a real learning experience for me, and I sure wish the
> curriculum or teacher in my nephew's class was able to do more
> hands-on
> science.  It seems like the way to get kids engaged.  I'd be
> interested 
> to hear why this often doesn't seem to Stephaine wrote,
> in elementary school, science is mainly lecture.
> Anyway, I'm off the net for a while, but Happy Holidays to everyone.
> Yours, Marc
> I