Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bridging from Children's Science Activities to Current Science Concepts

[under development, but, nearly done...]
Click these words for a link to a site full of children's science activities.

If you pick an activity, see if you can find how it relates to current (or, sometimes old-but-still-relevant) science research. For example, as we have a few warm days after the frost... a time reminiscent of and feeling like our summer, it might be fun to make ice cream...one of the fifth grade (USA, around age 10) activities.

As you can imagine, this is also about freezing point depression. So, what does freezing point depression have to do with current scientific research? Do you know? A search using a search engine can quickly come up with a huge list. Here is a small selection of what is available in the technical literature that involves this topic--- freezing point depression. It covers mammals (including rats and humans), fish, urine, veins, Vitamin C, sugar, protein, diabetes, salt, water, electricity, fluids, and other topics. In other words, there's a little something for everyone. If you can't find something in this list, it's probably out there in the other available research. A reference librarian should be able to help you find something. Be sure to let him or her know you are looking for difficult-to-read, refereed journal articles (primary sources).

  1. The freezing pointdepression of mammalian tissues

  2. Ascorbate Restores Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation ...

  3. Structurally Caused Freezing Point Depression of Biological Tissues

  4. The freezing point depression of mammalian tissues after sudden heating in boiling distilled water

  5. Freezing point depression of rat kidney slices during water diuresis and antidiuresis

  6. The relationship between the freezing point depression and specific gravity of urine under varying conditions of metabolism, and its clinical value in the estimation of sugar and albumin

  7. Freezing point depression of NaCl-KCl-H2O solutions

  8. Freezing point depression of aqueous sodium chloride
  9. vbA method for the determination of the freezing point depression of aqueous solutions..

  10. Freezing-point depression: New Method for Measuring Ultramicro ...
  11. Freezing resistance in some antarctic fishes
  12. Freezing-point depressions in stabilized soil aggregates

  13. Structure-function relationships in an antifreeze polypeptide. The ...

  14. Detection of freezing point by dielectric measurements

  15. A method for the determination of the freezing point depression of aqueous solutions.

For fifth graders, the goal is not to have them understand everything in all of these articles, nor, even to have them understand everything in one article. The "Reach Reading" goal at this age is to have students understand that:
  1. The lessons learned in making ice cream do apply to and are "real" science. Science can be fun.
  2. There is technical research, in the form of laboratory reports found in journal articles that uses this research.
  3. They can get a few new ideas from such articles, even if they don't understand everything (...or, even if they don't understand 99.9%).

Such ice cream and other fun science activities can also be adapted to children of any age--- Here's a song (to Frere Jaques) I wrote for a similar activity when my son was in pre-school:

Freezing point depression
Freezing point depression
Makes the ice cream freeze
Makes the ice cream freeze
Salt particles lower the temperature
Salt particles lower the temperature
The ice cream's cold
The ice cream's cold

In what other timely topic(s) does freezing point depression play a role?
One added point: Click here for some winter science ideas.

(c) 2008 J S Shipman
"Reach Reading"is a trademark of J S Shipman

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