In today’s lesson, a review of the scientific method was used as a guide for the students’ critique of a (fictional) experiment about dogs having a preference for certain colored foods. Students reviewed a lab notebook with a recorded experiment to learn about the design of good experiments, and the scientific method in general. After discussing the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the experimental notes, each group of students presented their findings to the rest of the class. We were able to really understand what it means to think like a scientist! The students are now prepared to write their own experiments using the scientific method!
Students: If you’re curious what color(s) dogs can see, click on the link for an example. We covered this in class, but here’s more information!
Does this make you rethink the conclusion of the experiment?
After this class, the students should start thinking about and writing their own science experiment according to the scientific method for our next class: the egg drop!
Before the next class, each student should have prepared the following steps:
1. Ask a question
Your teachers will give you more specific directions. We will conduct the experiment and record our observations together in class next week!
Questions of the day:
1. Who invented words?
Since we had an opportunity to share our findings with the class today, I figured we can start with this question! It’s an interesting question because there are many theories about the origin of words and they’re all pretty complicated: there is no short answer to this question. There is a field of science called linguistics, which among other things, studies the origin of languages. The most common theory is that people first imitated the sounds of the animals, like the animals’ warning and mating sounds and then language developed from there. There is also debate on whether the evolution of the brain allowed us to create words, or whether the fact that we started to use/need words to communicate helped evolve our brain. This field of science focusing on evolution of language over time and it’s impact on us is called anthropology. All this is just the tip of the iceberg; there are thousands of books that have been written on this subject.
2. How do people talk?
Again, let’s focus on speech! The human voice can be divided into three parts: the lungs, the vocal cords, and articulators. The lungs pump air and produce enough airflow and air pressure to cause the vocal cords to vibrate. The vocal cords vibrate and chop up the airflow into pulses that create sound. The muscles of the larynx (part of the throat where the vocal cords are found) adjust the length and tension of the vocal cords, creating different tones and pitches. Finally, the articulators help us articulate and filter the sound. They consist of the tongue, palate, cheek and lips. All three of these parts work together to allow us to talk!
And two about the human body!
3. Why do we need food and water?
Human beings cannot create all the required energy we need to fully function. Unlike plants, who can photosynthesize their energy, we need to break down our food for energy. Furthermore, there are tons nutrients we need that we cannot make ourselves, such as iron and calcium. We need to also get these from our food. However, not all food is the same! Some food has more nutritional value, meaning that there are more nutrients packed into every bite we take. Other food might give us some energy, but have little to no nutritional value. It’s best to eat food that is nutritious AND gives us energy. For example, vegetables have TONS of nutrients for every bite we take. Cake and candy, on the other hand, have VERY LITTLE, if any at all. If you could only eat so much during the day, which food would your body most want and NEED?? What food would make your body happy?
Water, on the other hand, is also something we cannot make ourselves. Plants also need water to survive. On average, our bodies are 60% of water with different parts of our bodies made up of different percentages. For example, our lungs are about 90% water, while adipose tissue (fat cells) are 10% water. We lose water through elimination, exhalation and sweating; if you don’t drink enough water or lose too much, you can become dehydrated, which can become a medical problem. So drink tons of water and stay hydrated! Your kidneys will thank you for it. :)
4. How does skin grow back?
Did you know that your sink is the largest organ in your body?! Skin has some important functions: to cover and protect you from infection, control the temperature of your body, for senses, and to enclose and control the fluid within you. The oils on your skin also prevent you from dehydrating quickly and shriveling up like a raisin! Overall, it’s pretty important and we need to repair it if we become injured!
Skin is made up of many layers of skin cells. The newest cells are on the inside while the older cells lay on top. We’re constantly creating new skin cells to replace the old. When we are injured, the wound will heal from the inside out and from the edges inward.