Sunday, September 23, 2012

Let's talk safety....

We love our mentos experiments and it is a great opportunity to teach the difference between variable and constants.  However, we also need to make sure we teach about safety while we are experimenting.

Our students favorite part of the mentos unit is when they get to work as a team to create their own combinations to test.  We tell them that they must have a constant - either the soda, the tube, the number of mentos or mentos themselves. Then they can choose the variable to change...

Kids want to try out everything! I had requests for baking soda, rubbing alcohol, rock salt, pop rocks, skittles, etc...  Somethings I knew were fine and some things I needed to check with my supervisor first.  She made sure that I knew that the students should NOT be mixing unknown materials with a liquid without extensive safety lessons. 

Well, I did not want to encourage anything I had to limit some of their choices.  Most groups tested different sodas, mentos or other candies...but one group still wanted rock salt.  For that group, my team mate and I were the ones to perform the test while the students observed.

For the regular tests, we made sure that they set it up and one child pulled the string...wearing safety goggles of course.

One of my students took the idea one step further.  Cole decided to create a new tube with a funnel on the end of it. Using pvc pipes and duct tape he created his own mento tube!  Wow...I was super impressed with his creativity!

Over all ... it was a fun day!  One of my students left the blacktop saying "Best Friday EVER!".


1 comment:

  1. Watched Mythbusters on Friday who did the mentos challenge - was excellent! You might want to try to find it to show it to your students. They talked a lot about changing variables and showed what "extras" did.