Monday, March 29, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

This mornings spring showers brought a welcome excuse to get wet and muddy!  While T was finishing up school O did a hands on weather study:) She merrily laughed as she jumped from puddle to puddle.  The grey skies certainly didn't put a damper on her spirits.

Later, T joined her to perform buoyancy experiments in our newly formed backyard lake. First we collected various yard objects: twigs, pinecones, leaves, barks, and stones. We then hypothesized which would sink and which would float. Objects that float are considered positively buoyant and inversely objects that sink are deemed negatively buoyant. The idea of buoyancy was summed up by Archimedes, a Greek mathematician, in what is known as Archimedes Principle: Any object, wholly or partly immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object. From this principle, we can see that whether an object floats or sinks, is based on not only its weight, but also the amount of water it displaces. Next we built craft stick rafts to further explore buoyancy.
We then added various objects to the rafts in order to determine how chaning an objects mass affects it's buoyancy.

I love how homeschooling allows me to turn even the most mundane object (puddles) into learning opportunities. We all had a blast and were amazed by how educational a good rain storm could be!