Science Sunday: Why are our bones strong?

After much talking and debating among my three children they decided to go with Land Animals for our next science to study.  But, Superman really wanted to learn about skeletons, I think that’s the only reason he was looking at the Anatomy notebook because it had a skeleton on the front.  Seriously.

 

I made him a deal, what if before we start learning about land animals, we learn about skeletons?  He was okay with that.

 

I had picked up the “Magic School Bus Explores the Human Body Science Kit,” thinking it looked really cool.  I’d seen Enchanted Homeschooling talk about some of their kits a couple of times and it looked very intriguing.

 

I was right.  This could make a great month long unit on anatomy all by itself.  I’m going to save most of it for when we study anatomy, but until then………

 

For the first experiment you need: glass jar, vinegar, chicken bone

 

1.  Get a rotisserie chicken for dinner, and enjoy it.  Then don’t let your husband throw away the bones.

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2.  Explore the bones.  This is a great chance to try descriptive terms.  Slimy, dense, hard, rubbery.

 

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3.  Discuss the cartilage at the end of the bone.  Also point out a few ligaments and tendons that are still attached.  Think to yourself, this is kind of gross.

 

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4.  Predict what will happen to the bone while it’s in the vinegar.  My kids had no clue what would happen, so they went for SUPER silly!  Princess said “A Princess will come out of the bone and make flowers!”  Ummmmmm, not so much.

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5.  Obsessively check on the bone for the next day or so.  Pout when you’re not allowed to touch it.

 

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6.  Take the bone out.  Discover that you can bend it.  Talk about how the vinegar took the calcium out of the bone.  Calcium is what makes our bones hard and strong.  This is why we drink milk.

 

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7.  Observe the dissolved calcium in the jar.  Think to yourself, that’s kinda gross.

 

And that’s our first part of skeleton studies.  I’ve been busy getting ready for the kids to go to grandparents while Jeff and I celebrate our 10 year anniversary this week.  I was going to do more, but I had other things on my mind………  A lot of cleaning.

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

Spell Out Loud did a great preschool evaporation activity.

 

The Usual Mayhem has a post for the strong of stomach about mold and fungus (with added bit at the end about the useful parts of fungus and mold……).

Almost Unschoolers has glow in the dark fake snow.  Now to hunt down a UV source……..

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Science Sunday: Shrimp

 

 

A few months ago I shared how we dissected a shrimp, however the shrimp we got from our grocery store was already beheaded.  We got ones with shells on, so they saw the tails and legs and such stuff, but they really wanted to know what the head looked like, up close and personal.

 

I joked about going out for sushi and making my brother order fried shrimp heads again (he did it on a dare once, it was AWESOME), but Jeff didn’t think that was the best plan, for many perfectly valid reasons.

 

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Then, when we were in Virginia we ate at this perfectly horrible Chinese/Japanese buffet.

 

Horrible, they messed up jello so badly I couldn’t eat it.

 

But, they had shrimp with their heads on.  So, right there in the restaurant we had a science lesson.

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First thing we noticed is how HUGE the eyes are.  I personally think they’re kind of freaky.

 

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Next we noticed the length of the antennae.  They’re about as long as the shrimp itself.

 

This required a lot of playing and fiddling around to see how much it could be moved.

 

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And then some general exploration of how it moves and the different parts of it.

 

Of course eventually it was eaten.

 

I guess that day we played with our food.

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

Finding the Teachable Moments shared about their Fire Safety week, a great pre-school/early elementary unit (you have to see what her husband brought home from work!).

 

Homeschool Mo did a couple of things this week, but I really loved her illustration for the earth circling the sun using a pie pan.

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Science Sunday: Is this a real animal?

 

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On a recent visit to the Mayborne museum we discovered this little guy.  It cracked me up to read about him.
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In case you can’t read the picture:
1.  It is related to the kangaroo, bandicoot, opossum, and wombat.

2.  The only marsupial found outside of Australia.

3.  Young are carried in the marsupium (pouch) for three months before showing their face to the world.

4.  Mate for life and are loyal to their mate.

5.  Orthlocks come out at sunset.  The Huoco Indians believed the creatures come out to view the dying sun.

jackalope6.  The orthlock is NOT to be confused with the Jackalope which everyone knows is a fraud!

The picture to the right is a jackalope.  Obviously a fake, while the orthlock is not……

So, we started discussing their opinions, is it a fake, and why?  They pretty much all agree it’s obviously a fake because no animal has both fur and feathers.  I have to say I think they’re right on that count.

I just got back in town late tonight and the post I had drafted featuring lots of people got all messed up and my brain is fried.  So I assure you there were many awesome posts this past week, but the hotel I was at last night did not let me get the post all written up because it decided it did not know “what this thing called an internet is.”

Plus side, I got to go to my first ever homeschool convention and it was a LOT of fun!

Science Sunday: starfish

 

 

You remember how ages and ages ago I asked for recommendations about starfish, and then I lost my camera with the pictures of what we did?

 

Well I found it.  Or more accurately, when I made the kids clean out the dog’s toy box of all of their stuff they found it.  My guess, I had them clean and they put it all in the dog’s toy box.

 

Needless to say I was not a happy Mommy.

 

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First we looked as the starfish my Mother-in-Law had given us from a trip she took and picked up for them.  I’ve been holding on to these for quite some time.  We noticed the little bumpy things on the bottom and talked about how those are little suction cups that let the starfish move around.

 

After we poked around and looked at them under a magnifying glass, I said we were going to try and see what it was like.  Then one at a time I ushered my unsuspecting kids into the bathroom and they got to play with the plunger in the toilet.

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After I was suitably disgusted by their fascination (and they now think of the least excuse why the bathroom needs the plunger, racing downstairs to get it), and they managed to not cover my bathroom floor with water.  We continued on to the next part.

 

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Then we cut out a starfish from sandpaper and recorded our observations of what it felt like to try and move like a starfish.  We did a similar craft before, a couple of years ago for our ocean animals book.

 

I’d like to thank: Fantastic Five, Alex Nguyen Portraits, Books 4 Learning, and Enchanted Homeschooling Mom for all coming up with some fun ideas to do.  Between all of their ideas, links, and suggestions I could have spent a couple of weeks on starfish, unfortunately my kids interest level was not as high as mine.

 

Does anyone else ever run into the problem of being more interested in a topic than their kids are?

Let’s see what others did this week:

Fantastic Five combined science and art for a fun astronomy lesson.

I loved the idea of using a rolling pin for a pulley from Quirky Momma.

 

Next Gen Homeschooler did a great job of trying to earthquake proof buildings.

 

Dottie’s Homeschool Universe shared about rocks and how they’re formed.

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Don’t forget to have a link back here somewhere on your front page.

 

Oh, and one last request: If you have any posts, old or new, about land animals I’d love to see them linked up.  We’re going to be studying land animals next and my land animals pinterest board is rather sparse.

Science Sunday: where we rescue a bat

 

We went to a new park in the area on Friday and as we were leaving I saw something crawling across the road to leave the park.  I had to stop and rescue it.
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Isn’t he cute, in an unbelievably ugly sort of way?  That’s certainly what my kids kept saying over and over again.
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We kept guard over him (without touching, I know that much for sure) all the way to the side of the road.  Then we talked about what type of bat he is and where he lives.
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Austin is home to a colony of Mexican Freetailed bats, it’s even one of the “things to see in Austin.”  I personally like the bridge up in Round Rock better to watch the bats come out, but either way it’s a fun site.

After looking up at the bridge above us (the picture above) to remind ourselves where he probably sleeps, then we talked about what he eats.  MOSQUITOES, lots and lots of them.  That’s what we love bats, they eat bugs.  This is good.  I haven’t figured out what use there are for mosquitoes yet in God’s Creation.  I can figure out uses for most other things I don’t like or find annoying, but haven’t found one yet for those.

We also caught a quick video of the bat crawling so you can see it in action.  I wasn’t aware bats could move so well on the ground, but then I remembered that young bats do that.

Let’s see what others did this week:

Wine Cup Christian Academy did a variation on the volcano experiment I’ve never seen before.  Can you guess what she used?

Lionden Landing created a fun model of the solar system (this isn’t the actual model, I just really loved the illustration).


Switching gears, Almost Unschoolers has a great anatomically correct cookie making experience about ladybugs.


Highhill Homeschool had a lot of fun trying to find the best way to make an electrical circuit.

Come back tomorrow to check out my contribution to Around the World in 12 Dishes!  We’re going to Russia!

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Science Sunday: Popping Popcorn in Illinois

 

I was trying to think what I wanted to do with popcorn late one night, and all I kept thinking of was charting what their favorite flavors were, and that didn’t sound exciting.  It sounded boring, mainly because I’d done that a lot when I was teaching public school.

 

Then in a flash of insight I popped out of bed and grabbed some bowls and pour 1/4 cup of popcorn into three bowls.  I started soaking one in water, another in oil, and left the third plain for a control.  About halfway through I had a vague memory of Almost Unschoolers doing something similar, so I looked up and they did an experiment with strawberry extract.  Interestingly enough we had very different results.

 

The next day at geography co-op we read about popcorn and how each one has a little drop of water in it.  Then we predicted which would pop best.

 

The majority thought the water soaked popcorn would pop best, but we had one holding out for our control and one for the oil.

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There was a lot of very excited watching of the popcorn popping.  It amused me to see my kids who normally ignore our popcorn popper absolutely enthralled by it.

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From left to right: oil, water, control.  The oil and control popped about the same amount (I got flustered getting ready to leave and left my giant measuring cup at home).  There was mixed feelings on which of them tasted better, but it leaned more towards the oil one.

 

Everyone was very surprised by the result of the water one.  It didn’t pop at all.  The kernel size was noticeably bigger and apparently it didn’t react well to absorbing all that water.

 

Our results are different that the google results I got when trying to find the science behind this.  Or the “best popcorn secret,”  I’m guessing the difference is don’t soak it for over 12 hours, that’s the difference.

 

So, do you think I’m right, it’s the extra time soaking that makes the difference?

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational shared Origami Bats, I wish I was good at origami.

 

Enjoying the Journey shared her tips for making rock candy.  One of the rare times someone has shared it and the project worked right.

 

Homeschool Mo shared her preschool flower studies, I love the flowers they made to go with it.

 

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Science Sunday: Sea Cucumbers

 

Now who here read that title and said “Sea Cucumbers is that a vegetable?”  I admit I did at first when I first read that part.

 

But, they’re really rather fascinating.  There are two different kinds.  One that just eats sand and filters its food out of it.  The other has large numbers of tentacles and uses the tentacles to bring the food to its mouth.

 

Well after reading all about this we decided to make our own models, but first we needed play dough.

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That accomplished we got busy making our sea cucumbers, I gave them the play dough, tooth picks, and pipe cleaners.

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It was quite a lot of work, much hard work.  You know the type of work that they complain when you say it’s time to stop.

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Horribly hard work.  They really hated this science lesson.

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

By His Design 5 shared about dissecting owl pellets.  She includes a link for where she got hers.  Last time I did this it was artificial owl pellets. 

 

Watch how sounds waves move at All Things Beautiful.

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