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Sunday, October 30, 2011

R is for Rocket!

The science curriculum for kindergarten is a far cry from spectacular: wood and paper, wahoo... Making paper could be fun but still, where is the excitement, the energy, the 'wow' and 'cool' factor?! I want to lay a foundation of science experience for these kiddos that leaves them wanting more and we did that this week with water rockets.

On monday I introduced our rocket experiment by showing the students three different 1 liter bottles filled with water (part way filled, half way filled, and most of the way filled) we made our initial prediction without any knowledge. I simple asked the students what bottle would shoot up the highest if it were a rocket. I had the students turn and talk after they graphed their prediction and then they explained they thought the full bottle would go higher because it had the most water. On friday we returned to the graph and our discussion. We sat in a circle, passed around the three bottles of water feeling their weight. I asked the students which bottle would be the hardest to throw high into the air, they unanimously agreed that it would be the most-of-the-way filled bottle. Then I asked the students to picture a windy day, which bottle would have the hardest time traveling straight up? The students told me it would be the part way filled bottle because it was the lightest. After this I asked the students if they would like to change their prediction, most did after our discussion. Several of the students changed with prediction to the half way filled bottle (the "correct" choice) stating that the amount of water and air was "just right." :)

Unfortunately it was raining on Friday so my class and another kinder class met in the play shed and I faired the pouring rain to launch off three rockets. Though the kids were wound up for the rest of the day, it was totally worth it! Science = Fun.

These rockets are incredibly easy and cheap to make! All you need is a bike pump, 1 liter bottle, cork, water, and a means of propping the bottles upwards. Thanks to my husband for educating me on this experiment!

Of course we had to test it before I shared it with the kiddos. Below is the really full one, I shot this off first and the kids LOVED it!

Which made shooting off the equal water and air one a load of fun!

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