Mass, Volume, and Density Labs
5th grade scientists are coming to CLIC during the school day for the next two weeks to do mass, volume, and density labs. Talking about density and how it relates to mass and volume is easier understood through hands-on labs. We will also being investigating the different states of matter. We will being doing labs on how temperature changes affects density. 5th grade will end the unit with taking all that we've learned to do a lab on how gas, solids, and liquids react. These labs are interesting and exciting!
We are first talking about how increasing the mass of a fluid changes the density of the fluid. Even though the sugar dissolves in the water, it is still and what has changed? The density discussions have been awesome, and students were encouraged but not required to take notes. They all took notes! I am impressed by the group's attention to detail and thoughts of how they could have done the lab better. I also value the feedback they gave me.
We will be moving on to comparing three cups of mystery fluids to predict what they are and arrange in order of highest to lowest density. We will then combine them from highest density on the bottom to lowest density on top. We will also do a lab where we add in a lab on adding a gas to varying density of fluids. I will reveal our results next week after all students do the lab. I don't want to give the answer away!
The thing that most impressed me is that students did not get upset that their experiment results were not perfect and some did not work out at all. Groups were encouraged to start another vial and try it again and again until they had success. They were also encouraged to then add more sugar or do what they thought would give the result they wanted.
My greatest goal is for students to work hard for their results. Scientists, engineers, artists, chefs, and other creative people work months, years, and decades working and observing to find a result they are hoping to solve. I like to give students opportunites to work in a collaborative work environment. I love seeing the kids work together, give suggestions, change direction, start over, and enjoy directing the labs.