Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Does Air Really Exist?

We began our new rotations for Science Magic this week in our very own classroom! During these Science Magic experiments we will be exploring aspects of Earth Science, so we explored air with Ms. Riley. To begin our Science Magic session, we talked about what we already knew about matter and what the three types of matter are (solids, liquids, and gas). Then, Ms. Riley asked us our question: does air exist if we cannot see it? Many of us hypothesized that it did because air is in the form of a gas, but we wanted to find proof of air. Ms. Riley set up four centers for us to explore and test our hypothesis!

Center 1: Duck Race

At Center 1, there were two rubber ducks and a small tub filled with water. Ms. Riley told us to take turns racing the ducks across the tub, but we had to do so without touching the ducks. We discovered that we could use air to blow them across! We also discovered the baseball duck moved better across the water because it had no hole and was filled with air to help it stay on top of the surface, and the surfer duck was harder to move because it did have a hole and got weighed down a bit with water.

Center 2: Outside Observations

At Center 2, we looked out of our classroom window to look for signs of air outside. We saw tree branches moving in the wind, clouds moving through the sky, and leaves being blown across the pavement. We also saw Bob moving outside, but he wasn't being moved by air or wind :)

Center 3: Tissue in Cup Experiment

At Center 3, We put a tissue in the bottom of a cup and put the cup (open side down) straight down into a bowl of water. We expected to have a wet tissue when we lifted the cup up, but instead we found the tissue was completely dry! An air bubble that got trapped inside the cup when the lip hit the water protected the tissue from getting wet. We were amazed!

Center 4: Blowing Bubbles

At Center 4, we got to explore with one of our favorite forms of evidence for air: bubbles! We discovered that if we stuck our straws further down in the water, the bubbles that formed were bigger. If we took the straw out of the water and blew the surface of the water, it made a spray, and if we stuck our straw in and made a humming sound instead of blowing out air, there were no bubbles, just tiny waves from the vibrations.

After we were finished exploring and recording our observations, we found all of our results showed evidence of air, so we concluded that air does indeed exist. Even if we cannot see the air itself, we can find evidence of it all around us!