MYTHconceptions 6-27: The 7 Year Wad
Hubba Bubba party! Today the young scientists tested the popular myth: gum takes 7 years to digest in our stomachs. They chewed and chewed, and used vinegar to stimulate stomach acid. The chewed gum was compared to other unchewed gum and food we know our bodies easily digest, like bread. They used their new digestion vocabulary (mechanical and chemical processes) to examine what happens to gum in the mouth.
Ask your student: What happens to things that we eat that are indigestible? (they pass out the other end as solid waste— this mostly includes fiber from fruits and vegetables, but could include indigestible gum too) Does gum really stay in your system for 7 years? (No! On average, it takes 24-35 hours for food to be completely digested, and in this time the gum would be passed out with other indigestible food components).
Chicago STEMvironment 6-27: Eco House
Continuing with our theme to create energy efficient homes, the students commenced the building phase of their project, taking into account what they had planned the day before and implementing it. They created real estates, adding windows and functioning doors to their homes. Later, the students were faced with the challenge, “What materials will most efficiently insulate your home?” Brainstorming, they used their knowledge of insulators and conductors to create a hypothesis and experiment to test for the following day.
Ask you student: What is the difference between an insulator and conductor? (Conductors allow energy/heat to pass through them while insulators do not) What materials do you predict will best insolate your home? (Opinion, answers will vary)
Fun Fact: “Well-planned landscaping isn’t just for aesthetics — properly placed trees around the house can save between $100 and $250 annually”
Chicago Engineering Explorations 6/27: Boat Building
This week, our engineers are building boats using simple items. Today they used aluminum foil to build their boats to test how much weight they could hold. They learned principles about load, and about the Archimedes Principle!
Ask your students: How did the Archimedes Principle relate to your activity today? Why do you think this Principle is important to know? (Answers will vary)
Extreme Math & Science Tuesday: Predator vs Prey
Today, students used their discoveries from Monday and compare them to what they learned using the Vensim model about predator and prey. As a class they discovered what they learned is the same and different than the information they found yesterday. Students also show’d how modifying equations work, and tried to model the data collected from the Wolf-Deer Game from Monday with the model.
Ask your student: What happens if there is not enough prey to feed the predator? (the predators begin to die off)