This week we reviewed mass, volume, and density, and also began discussing the idea of conductors of heat. (We'll talk more about conductors when we get to circuits.) The students went through rotations covering each topic.
Rotation #1 was a can of Coke and a can of Diet Coke, and the students placed them in a tub of water to measure distance each sank. The regular coke sank to the bottom, while the Diet Coke did not. This lead to a discussion about the mass of sugar versus the mass of artificial sweetener, and their relative densities. I brought in a sample of each so that the students could feel the difference in mass. It a BIG difference!
Rotation #2 included a wooden spoon, a plastic spoon, a rubber spoon, and a metal spoon. The students predicted which spoon(s) would be good conductors of heat, then we put the spoons in hot water for 1 minute. We took the spoons out and timed how long it took for a small piece of butter to begin melting when placed on the spoon. We quickly noticed the metal was by far the best conductor.
Rotation #3 was about predicting and measuring the volumes of different liquids.
Rotation #4 included measuring the mass of many different objects using a triple beam balance.