Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Electron Exchanges

I assist with the Science class at co-op.  The woman who runs the class has THE coolest ideas!

This week, we talked about protons, neutrons and electrons.  At the beginning of class, she handed out pieces of paper that said Nucelus, Electron, and Proton.  Then she divided up the Nuclei and Protons into two groups.  She assigned Electrons to groups.  She had the Electrons walk around the "cell" (Nucleus and Protons), walk around in circles and then she made one electron go to the other group and walk around that one in circles, then another Electron switched groups...

I had studied protons, nuetrons and electrons in high school and college.  I studied electron exchanges.  I studied definitions.  I never pictured it.  I never acted it out.  IT MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW!!!

Then, she had the kids sit down.  She gave each kid a pinch of salt on their paper and a pinch of pepper and told them to mix them together.  Then we gave each of them a plastic spoon and told them to rub the spoon on their hair.  Then hold the spoon over the salt and pepper.  What happens?

I am not telling you.  GO TRY IT.  It's so cool!  But you have to use a plastic spoon.  You can try other things, so far plastic spoons and balloons work best.

We also made paper spiders dance by rubbing balloons in our hair and holding them over the spiders.  We practiced with different kinds of paper.  Do you know what makes the paper spiders dance?  Electron exchange!  Static is an electron exchange...just picture the electron switching cells...CLING!  Like glue!

I always thought science was about memorizing definitions.  My girls think it's fun and cool.  P never had science in school (science starts in fourth grade in our school system) and A was taken out of class for extra math help when the class did experiments (something that she was really upset about and I tried to have changed).  I am so happy that my girls both get to enjoy hands-on science experiments.  I am thrilled that they think science is fun and cool and not just about memorizing definitions.