When I seen we had an experiment to prepare for the first day of semester two I panicked, thinking back to science at school I remember all the experiments taking a lot of planning and time in the lesson to try out. I started googling ‘simple science experiments’ and seen a lot of really good ideas to use in the classroom with children that actually aren’t so complex after all.
During my search to find one that I could easily take into uni and do I came across one which made me think to myself, that surely doesn’t work? So I decided to give this one a bash as it required very little money and time.
A food bag, pencils and water – the only three things I needed for the experiment. The idea of the experiment is that if you fill a food bag with water and seal the top, when you stick a pencil right through the bag that the water will in fact not leak. Having no pencils I decided to try the experiment the night before I planned to get pencils by using a knife instead of a pencil. This was a stupid idea that only resulted in my jumper getting covered in water. As soon as I stuck the knife through water just began to pour out.
I finally had the pencils and was ready to try the experiment, first try and my experiment worked. No water at all leaked out when the pencil was stuck through the bag. The reason being that the food bag is made up of polymers which are long chains of molecules, so when the sharpened pencil is inserted you are separating the polymer chains without breaking then because the long chains of molecules squeeze around the surface of the pencil resulting in no leak.
So this made me think how science doesn’t have to be complicated to a point where we cant understand and that with a simple visual experiment children can grasp an understanding of science. I as a teacher could take in this experiment but before hand get the children to discuss what they think is going to happen when a knife is put through and then if a pencil is put through, this would get the children engaged in a discussion before actually seeing the experiment.
To develop my knowledge of science I need to become more engaged with concepts I will be teaching in the classroom, one thing I plan on doing in watching some documentaries that will build up my knowledge of certain areas I intend to teach in the classroom as there are many great documentaries out there that would benefit my knowledge.