Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Homeschool Co-op

I love our co-op.  We have classes on Tues and Thurs, but you don't have to sign up for both days.  You can pick one or the other, or both.  This semester we are doing both, as they meet just a few miles from our farm.

On Tuesdays, I am the lead teacher for Science Lab.  So far, the only thing the kids ALL share an interest in is to blow something up.  So, each week, we try to blow up something, then we do another lesson.

Today, we did the diet coke and Mento's thing.  We have already done it twice where it did not blow up (I am trying to get them to learn that experiments don't always come out the same, so each time we did the experiment we used different mints, and different sodas, and got different results.)  Today it blew--and, being kids, the messier it is, the more they liked it.

Then, we followed through on an experiment we started last week with eggs.  We soaked eggs for a week in different solutions.  the vinegar solution ate through the shells, leaving squishy eggs held together only by the membranes.  Of course they wanted to smash them, but I was mean and didn't let them, knowing I or my aides would have to be the ones to clean it up.

Our last lesson for the day was to start a unit on bacteria.  Each student got a petri dish with nutrient agar in it.  The dishes were made with 3 compartments, so, they each got to swab 3 items of their choice.  Next week, we will see what we are growing.  For health reasons, the dishes are now sealed shut, and we washed hands first and then made the rule of no swabbing in the bathrooms.  I'd rather we NOT grow a batch of e-coli.  We talked a little about good bacteria vs bad bacteria, and the 3 types shapes of bacteria.  Next week we will finish up on our bacteria unit, unless they really seem into it--if so, we will do another week of learning more about them (after we blow something up, of course).

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