Mr. Harper is the Murdock Elementary School Science Lab teacher, funded by MESF as part of our mission to provide resources that will enhance the learning environment and educational opportunities of the students at Murdock Elementary School. Murdock students have enjoyed coming to the Science Lab during the first nine weeks of school to enrich the lessons that they are learning in their classrooms. Each grade has had several opportunities for hands-on fun!
Students started their science year by visiting the Science Lab Vegetable Garden. While taking a tour of the garden each class picked fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. The fresh vegetables were washed and sliced up for students to sample Murdock’s harvest. Our young scientists also learned to use their observation skills to study different types of animals and communicate what’s similar and different between those animals. Our youngest scientists then explored the different types of motion through hands-on exploration of common objects and the way those objects move.
Students also started their science year by visiting the Science Lab Vegetable Garden. While taking a tour of the garden each class picked fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. The fresh vegetables were washed and sliced up for students to sample Murdock’s harvest. The 1st graders then learned about weather and the tools scientists use to measure and communicate weather observations.
Students explored the properties of matter and learned about the changes between the states of matter. We focused on using a balance and a scale to quantify the mass of an item. The scientists also had the opportunity to change a liquid into a solid by making ice cream in the lab using a special ice cream ball. The students loved tasting the results of this science concept.
Students learned about rocks and minerals by exploring the minerals talc and graphite. The students made observations about the hardness and appearance of the minerals. The students also went on a rock hunt outside and learned to use a map of Murdock to identify where they found various rock samples.
Students learned how water changes from a solid to liquid to a gas. Our 4th graders also learned about the water cycle and how clouds and fog are formed. The students created a “water cycle in a bag” to see the water cycle in action. Weather and weather instruments were also explored and each student made an anemometer so they could make their own wind speed observations at home.
Students conducted hands-on activities to explore the constructive and destructive forces on earth including acid rain, glaciers, erosion and earthquakes. The students participated in an earthquake challenge where they worked in a group to build a structure out of marshmallows, toothpicks and cardboard that could withstand a simulated earthquake. An earthquake shake table was used to simulate the effects of an earthquake on the students’ structures.
We began speaking to the students about the school-wide science fair scheduled for January 19, 2018. Now is the time to start brainstorming ideas for science fair projects for this year’s science fair. The Science Lab Instructor will hold an information session about the science fair on October 24, 2017 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm for students and parents. More information about this year’s fair will be available in the coming weeks.