Science in Action

Activities

Match Maker, Match Maker
This activity was designed to accompany the Magic School Bus video, "Meets Molly Cule."  You can probably find Magic School Bus videos at your local library.
Materials Needed

Dishpan of water
Paper towels
Liquid detergent
Copies of
MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER page
For each group:
2 tumblers of water
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon liquid detergent
Spoon


Instructions
Ralphie discovers that soap and water slip grease and grime away because of the special characteristics of soap molecules. Your kids investigate some characteristics of oil, water, and soap.  Divide girls into groups of four.  Pass around samples of oil, water, and liquid soap. Ask: What are some characteristics of water? Oil? Soap? List responses. Ask: Do the teeniest-tiniest bits (molecules) of these things determine these properties? (yes) Let kids touch the substances. Ask: How do they feel? Is how they feel a characteristic? (yes)  Have girls dip a finger in oil and then try to rinse it off with water alone. Ask: Does the oil come off? How could we remove it? During the activity, girls will discover that soap and water mix, while oil floats on top of water. Challenge girls: Can you mix oil and water? Record ideas. If possible, let them experiment with some of their ideas. After girls add soap to the oil and water, ask: What did the soap do to the oil and water? (Soap mixes oil and water because on end of the soap molecule is water-loving, while the other clings to oil. Stirring in soap creates a cloudy suspension of tiny oil droplets surrounded by soap molecules - an emulsion.) Ask: Why do soap and water clean oil and grime? (The oil-loving end of the soap molecule surrounds and lifts the oil; water rinses it away.)

idea courtesy of Scholastic's Magic School Bus

Crafts

Games

Songs

Swaps

Snacks

Pretzel Chemistry
This activity was designed to accompany the Magic School Bus video, "Ready, Set, Dough."  You can probably find Magic School Bus videos at your local library.
Materials Needed

Copies of
PRETZEL CHEMISTRY page
Utensils and ingredients from the recipe
An oven

Instructions
Is it baking - or is it chemistry? Ms. Frizzle’s class learns that baking is like doing a chemistry experiment. Your kids can make chemistry happen as they follow this recipe for pretzels. You or another adult can help groups of four to eight kids bake batches of pretzels. If you do not have access to an over, make the dough with children and let them carry portions home in plastic bags to make with their families.  As you follow the recipe, encourage children to talk about the changes they observe, and ask: What happens when you add yeast and honey to the warm water? (The mixture makes bubbles)  What happens after you knead the dough and let it sit? (The carbon dioxide makes the dough rise.)  What happens to the pretzel shapes while they’re baking? (They get fatter.)

idea courtesy of Scholastic's Magic School Bus

Field Trips

Visitors