Last week the Summer Jar told us to do an experiment called What Sinks? What Floats? The Let’s Explore blog gave us the idea. The kids loved it because it involved a large bowl of water (I’m tempted to put “explore a large bowl of water” in the Summer Jar but I don’t want to deal with the cleanup afterwards). Basically you go around the house gathering stuff, and then you decide what you think will sink and what you think will float. Then you put stuff in water and see how right you were. The kids did a pretty good job overall. Our favorite was the sand timer: the side with the sand in it sunk and the empty side floated.
Later that day my friend Ed (a physicist) said, “I like how it teaches them the scientific process.” Oh, what? Oops, right. So I went back and said, “Hey, boys! Remember when we did that floating and sinking thing earlier? Well, when we laid them all out first on the paper to see what we thought would sink or float, that was the hypothesis…” I think they got it, but it would have been better to explain it at the same time. At dinner I said, “Do you boys want to tell Dave [an engineer] about the SCIENCE EXPERIMENT we did, where we learned what a HYPOTHESIS is, and about doing the EXPERIMENT to test your HYPOTHESIS?” I can be really annoying sometimes.
I have to remember that part of the point of the Jar isn’t just for it to tell us what to do, but for us to delve deeper into that activity. Meaning, that Julie should do her homework a little more and go back and reread exactly what we’re doing with the floating and sinking thing.