Archive | January 26, 2013

Tower power

That’s the science project assigned to Adi by her class teacher. This is her first science experiment. Every week two kids from the class were selected to present their project and this week was Adi’s turn. There was no chance to squeeze our brain as the topic was given and step by step procedure was also explained in the Science textbook. Can it get any better? Though we would have had some fun if there was some thinking and creativity.

With this project all she had to do was to record her observation and execute the experiment in the class.  She bought home the textbook and scoring sheet last weekend and since then our discussion has started on how to present the project. The scoring sheet had categories defined with ratings from 4 to 1 (highest to least). The girl was targeting to get 4 in all categories so worked hard on the presentation.

The project was to explain why water towers are constructed high in cities. How does the height help in flow of water through pipes to homes and businesses?

We bought a big poster board and decided to have sections like question, hypothesis, materials used, method/procedure, results and conclusion. She had to explain the details for each section in writing. I helped her with the outline of the board and sentence formation for each section. Rest all was taken care by her.  It was she who decided to use different color construction paper for each section and to use a white sheet on the construction paper to write the details. We also decided to make a water tower with newspaper and stick it on the board as a model.

That’s the girl at work. She had worked on this poster board for more than 7 hours perfecting every detail.

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Poster board – end product. Apologies for the poor quality picture.

It was her idea to cut out the wiggly papers and write title in bubble letters. The sheets are

green – materials used
blue – question
purple – hypothesis
orange – method/procedures
yellow – result
pink (last one) – conclusion.

She first wrote the details in pencil, corrected the mistakes and then traced the words with markers. She even had to redo some of the papers and did them with no fuss.

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Next, she had to execute the experiement at class. The execution procedure was to place a baking pan in a flat table, connect a transparent flexible plastic tube to a funnel, request a friend to hold the funnel and tube, pour water through funnel, raise and lower the funnel to show the water flow in the tube. As the funnel is raised higher the water will flow faster and squirt out of the tube into the pan. This explains why water towers are constructed higher. It is to have faster flow of water through the pipes.

I didn’t think much through this and was prepared to just buy all the materials but M came up with this brilliant (!!) idea of using a bottle instead of funnel. That way she can close the cap and handle the bottle with water and tube by herself and it will be less messier also. It becomes simpler, fill the bottle with water, have the tube connected via the bottle cap and just invert the bottle whenever you want the water to flow through the pipe. We loved the idea and that’s what exactly she did. M bought the plastic tube from Home Depot and helped to fix the tube to the bottle cap.

That’s the girl trying out the experiment at home.

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We had dry run of the complete presentation at home and she did well. We also gave her idea to involve her classmates in the experiment by inviting them to try it by themselves. They can raise and lower the bottle to see the water flow in the pipe. Looks like she did so and all her classmates volunteered to try their hands.  I think her teacher was impressed with the class participation and guess what’s the score? Adi managed to get 4 for all categories and scored 100.

Scoring sheet:

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My contribution was minuscule to this project and all the credit goes to M and Adi for his planning and her execution. If she had used funnel then the execution would have got messier and her classmates would not have tried it as that involves more than one person’s help like one to hold the funnel and tube and another to pour the water et all.

On a different note, she did well on all subjects in review exam.

Kudos to the daddy-daughter duo.. I was happy as I got a topic for the marathon 🙂  Talk about priorities 🙂