Practical experiments are valuable for the learning experience in pre-schools. Being a Montessori pre-school, we focus on practical experiments where the children can test various hypotheses and make sense of the natural world. Here is an example of a science experiment:
SCIENCE KITCHEN CHEMISTRY LESSON – EXAMPLE
Travelling water experiment:
Introduction and summary:
Water can move in interesting ways. When a twisted paper towel is placed in a glass of water (coloured water to illustrate the water movement in a white paper towel) and draped into four different coloured water glasses. We see how the water travels up along the paper towel between the glasses. This is how the plant stem draws water from its root system and feeds the leaves. (This experiment is part of our “Living Plants” theme.
Why perform this experiment:
This experiment provides children with a visual experience of how water is absorbed by the fibrous stem of the plant from its roots. The fibres in the paper towel have some similarities to the fibres of the stem.
The experiment enables children to practise the skills of predicting, observing, experimenting, and inferring.
- They predict the coloured liquid will travel upward.
- They observe and gather information about plants and the experiment process.
- They experiment by changing objects.
- Inference by using prior knowledge of plants, water and paper towels.
- Be aware that water travels upwards from the roots to the fibrous stem in the same way it travelled along the paper towel in the experiment.
What we need to perform the experiment:
- A tray
- 4 glasses
- A jug of water
- Food colouring – red, yellow, blue and green
- A teaspoon
- 4 sheets of paper towelling
How to perform the experiment:
- The children predict what will happen to the coloured water in the glasses. They have been learning about living things and that plants need water to grow. This is how the stem draws water from the roots to feed the rest of the plant.
- The child observes the experiment excitedly in which they have participated.
- They will make inferences based on what they saw by using their prior knowledge of plants, water and paper towels.
Figure 8.1: Equipment needed for this experiment.
Figure 8.2: Food dye mixed into the water.
Figure 8.3: The twisted tissue inserted into the glasses. The water already travelling.
Figure 8.4: The finished experiment after a few hours.