Thursday, December 1, 2016

Science Fun-Clean up the Spill!

For this experiment we filled baking pans half full with water, and then added 100 mL of vegetable oil to simulate an oil spill. We learned about the methods used to clean up real oil spills, and after forming a hypothesis, used materials to model those methods.

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One method we learned about was a boom, or floatation foam, which is used to gather the oil into a contained area. We used rolled paper towels for our boom. In Bishnu’s hypothesis she thought the paper towels would work the best. They only absorbed about 1/8 of the oil, if that.

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We also learned about a sorbant. The sorbant absorbs the oil like a sponge. Katie and Francesca both hypothesized that the sorbant would clean up the oil spill, so they tried cotton balls first. They seemed to absorb as much as the paper towels did.

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We also learned about a skimmer, which sucks the oil off the water like a huge vacuum cleaner or adheres to the oil and lifts it off the water. For our skimmer we used medicine droppers. They were less successful than the cotton balls and paper towels, removing very little oil.

We seemed to find the most success using a chemical agent, which disperses and breaks down the oil. For this experiment Dawn dish soap simulated the chemical agent.

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Through observation and critical thinking we concluded that a combination of methods would be most effective. Using a combination of the chemical agent and the boom, Katie was able to successfully clean up 98% of her oil spill!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Friday, November 4, 2016

Smells like the Holidays

I stumbled upon this recipe during one of my Pinterest adventures, and decided to try it out. I’m a fan of cinnamon candles burning all winter long, and this looked like it could be right up my alley.

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You just mix these ingredients together in a pot, add water almost to the top and let it simmer on your stove, adding water as needed. The original recipe called for a one inch piece of fresh ginger, but it was very overpowering and we didn’t like it at all.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3 tangerines, halved
  • 3 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean + 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I just used the extract and added a bit more)
  • 1 small branch fresh pine
  • 1 cup apple cider, pomegranate or cranberry juice
  • 2 star anise (optional-smells like black licorice)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Science fun-Retaining the Right Amount

Farmers carefully choose which crops to plant where, and what type of soil to plant them in. Today we practiced our metric measuring skills in an experiment to learn about water retention in different types of soil.

First we added 160 mL water to 250 mL clay, sand, and potting soil, each in their own foam cup. Each cup had 10 small holes in the bottom to allow for drainage. After 2 minutes we recorded how much water drained from each.

Using the information we gathered, our next objective was to make a mixture of soil that had a water retention of 50%. We formulated a hypothesis that contained the amounts of each soil we would use. We then poured 160 mL over our cup containing 250 mL of our mixtures, and timed it for 2 minutes.

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We learned that sand drained the fastest, clay drained the slowest, and we discussed what kind of mixtures we would need for different plants water retention needs.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

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