May 5, 2016

WonderWorks: Wet vs. Dry

Let's talk about what things change when they get wet -- how do they change? Is the change permanent?  So many topics to explore!

Today's Topic: Wet vs. Dry
Things that DO change drastically (sometimes permanently) in water -- feathers, cornstarch-based packing pellets, tissue paper
Things that do NOT change in water -- coins, paper clips, bouncy balls, painted wooden blocks
Things that change a little bit in water -- popsicle sticks, pompoms, pipe cleaners
buckets or bowls
paper to chart your results on (optional)

cover art The wet dry book / Spohn, Kate
This is a GREAT book for the topic as the pages are alternately matte or shiny to mimic things that are wet or dry.

The inspiration for this class (or "what I thought kids might do"): this was the "Dunk a Pair" project from the Exploring Change chapter of The Preschool Scientist.  This book has a lot of great, practical inspiration for a class like WonderWorks or for home explorations.

What the kids actually did: 
some kids actually tried putting one of a pair of objects into water and then observing the wet and dry objects side-by-side. 

 This mom pointed out that the wet tissue paper looked like it might be more see-through...
 and this young scientist had to test it to see if the adult was right.
 This young scientist was working on linking paperclips together (great recall!)
One young scientist chose to make the table wet (while part of the table stayed dry) to compare!
 probably the favorite object to test were these cornstarch-based packing pellets. They display drastically different properties when wet or dry!
 pompoms were more subtle, visually.
 But mostly?  There was a lot of soup.
 and pouring of soup.
 This color-coordinated soup looks delicious!
 In their reflection journals, this young scientist asked his grandma to add one wet fingerprint and one dry for comparison.

Hindsight Tip: this project miiiiiight be more focused if you had less options of stuff for them to dunk.  Also, water projects always work better outdoors in the summer!

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