Science

Each week our students work with Julia as part of our science program.  Over the course of Term 1, our Senior class has been investigating ‘carbon.’ Experiments over the past few weeks capture the curiosity of our students and Julia’s expertise and knowledge.

This week we investigated the connection between carbon and pancakes. We discovered that bi-carbonate soda is carbon stored in salt and when we add this to an acidic substance like vinegar, we see the carbon released from the salt as carbon dioxide, The bubbles are the result of the reaction.

Observing the reaction from the carbon and salt with the vinegar, and seeing the reaction that produces a gas.

 

When we released bi-carb soda into a bottle of vinegar, we could see the carbon dioxide gas captured in a balloon. When we cooked the pancake mixture, we could see the carbon dioxide released as bubbles (and caught by the gluten from wheat flour) as the pancake batter cooked.

We also discovered that French crepes do not include bi-carbonate soda in the recipe, because we want our crepes to be flat and thin.

We used berries and apples from the garden to make simple condiments to add to our pancakes.

In previous weeks, we have learned about carbon capturing capacity of plants and the by-product of oxygen. By measuring how long it took for a candle to burn, placed inside a sealed glass bowl, both with and without a plant, we could prove that plants produce oxygen.

Measuring the length of burn time without a plant.
Measuring the length of burn time with a plant in the dome.

This experiment gave us an opportunity to practice fair experimentation, the idea of variables and to make predictions based on what we already know.

Our results proved that a plant in the bowl increased the length of time a candle could burn because it was able to absorb a small amount of carbon dioxide from the candle and release oxygen, increasing the burn time.

We also captured the energy within the smoke and the ability of the fuel source (smoke) to ignite using slow-motion video:

video of smoke igniting a candle.

 

Our science curriculum is based around our natural world and the reactions that occur within it.