My school science team wanted students to understand there are multiple ways to approach and solve problems. Our experience is students who enter Middle School thinking there are only “Right” answers in science. This activity was designed to help students see there are different ways to solve a problem. We provided Sprite® and raisins along with beakers to our students. They added sprite to the beaker and then put four raisins into the Sprite® and observed. The video shows what was seen.
Students were then challenged to change one the experiment. We reminded them that scientists only change one variable at a time to see what really makes a difference. We provided multiple options to test: ice, salt, sugar, baking soda, vinegar, and water. Students were also told a variable could be the quantity of material used (including the volume of Sprite®.) Student groups identified their variable and made sure it was different than a neighboring group’s variable. After adding their variable, student groups compared data for how the raisins danced (height risen, number of times each grape rose, and any other changes observed.) I asked students which group did the “right experiment” and was pleased that most responded: “we both did!”
What similar activities do you have students do that encourage them to gather and compare data with each other?
How can this activity be tied into the Common Core Standards?