Thursday, February 16, 2012

Anything for Science

Travis's earth science program is progressing very satisfactorily. It involves a reasonable amount of reading and enough review and thinking questions that I think the boy is learning something. And today we started the geology video course I bought from The Great Courses and I think that, while it isn't really aimed at middle schoolers, Travis (and I) will be able to follow it fairly well.

Katie's science is also going well, but this week's experiments were not exactly what I'd call rigorous. The chapter was about the layers of the earth -- the core, the mantle, the crust -- and we read the material and looked at pictures. The activities (in fairness, I'm not even sure they are called  "experiments" are supposed to reinforce the idea of "layers." We cut an apple in half and compared the core, flesh, and skin to the core, mantle, and crust of the earth. And ate the apple.
Then we layered in a one quart jar (actually a commemorative Jack Daniels mug that Ed had when I married him) white sugar (core), brown sugar (mantle), m&m's (crust), chocolate chips (rocks on top of the crust?), and flour mixed with baking powder & salt (earth's atmosphere).

We carefully and scientifically noted the layers, then mixed them with butter, eggs, and vanilla.

 Then we baked and ate them. (For the record I would like it noted that Katie was concerned that the m&m's would be crushed in the mixer and lose their distinctive m&m qualities, so I took the earth's layers apart before mixing and stirred in the m&m's last. Because I am That dedicated a mother. And scientist.)

They were very educational.

And, on more of a literary note, Travis has been tinkering with the messages on the sugar hearts. I think this one is particularly unromantic, don't you?

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