Vocabulary & Concepts for Scientific Method & Lab Skills (This document can be printed out and written on before it goes in your composition notebook or it can be saved under a different name and typed on, or you can write the words down in your notebook- your choice as to what works best for you!- answers/definitions in your own words & diagrams if you would like also.)

Scientific Method Notes


Gummy Bear Lab: We answer the question: What will happen to a Gummy Bear if it soaks in water overnight?


Our 1st lab is the Gummy Bear Lab. This is an introductory lab in which students have the opportunity to make a hypothesis, practice lab skills, and start going through part of the scientific method.

Students first hypothesize on what will happen to a gummy bear when you put it in water overnight. Students then practice some basic measuring and calculating skills by taking and recording the bears color, length, width, and thickness or height in centimeters. The volume is then found by multiplying all three of the measurements together and labeling with the unit centimeters cubed (cm3). Students then practice using an electronic balance by massing their gummy bear in units of grams (g). Finally, the density is calculated by diving the mass over the volume in units of grams per centimeters cubed (g/cm3). Data collected is recorded on Day 1 in the Experimental Data Table. Students soak their bears in water overnight and check them again the next day. Students record observations, measurements, and calculations on Day 2 of the data table. Finally, the amount of change is calculated and recorded on the third row of the table. Students check to see if their hypothesis is correct or not, compare to find the greater change: volume or mass. Density is also compared from Day 1 to Day 2. Students make an explanation for the changes and then compare results with the rest of the class.
Reminder-
to calculate volume, multiply the length times the width times the thickness of the gummy bear (height) to the nearest centimeter- (cm), answer is expressed in units of cm3
to calculate the density, density is found by dividing mass over volume , answer is expressed units of grams per cm3 (g/cm3)


From Chemistry Stack Exchange:
Potassium chlorate is a source of oxygen. After heating, it decomposes to O2 and KCl:
4KClO3KCl+3KClO4KClO4KCl+2O2
The gummy bear is mainly composed of sugar and other carbohydrates. Those carbohydrates will react with oxygen, combustion occurs. For example, glucose will react in this manner:
6O2+C6H12O66CO2+6H2O
4KClO3KCl+3KClO4 ....... KClO4KCl+2O2.....6O2+C6H12O66CO2+6H2O

Gummy Bear & Potassium Chlorate Video Clip

Finding the Scientific Method in a MythBusters Episode:

MythBusters Clown Car Episode
MythBuster Scientific Method Sheet

Scientific Method Review:

Scientific Method Review and Monty Python Holy Grail Witch Video Clip

Finding the Scientific Method in an E-coli Experiment:

Scientific Tuesdays: Beautifully Disgusting

Scientific Method & Beautifully Disgusting Podcast Sheet



TAKE HOME LAB (Golden Rod Paper Chemical Reaction)

Fill the plastic tube half-way with tap water and shake. Dip a Q-Tip into the tube and use as a pencil to write your name and decorate. Feel free to try other household liquids. The Goldenrod paper turns red in the presence of a base. It will return to its yellow color with an acid! Baking Soda is a base, therefore turns red so you can make write your name in red on the yellow paper. Most paper is now acid-free, so not all Goldenrod paper will react to a base/acid.

From Steve Spangler Science:
At first glance our Goldenrod Paper looks like an ordinary piece of yellow paper. In fact, someone could go their entire life thinking that this was just yellow paper. But the secret is hidden in the dye used in the making of the paper. Rub a cotton ball soaked with ammonia water on the paper and it turns bright red! Ammonia water is a cleaning agent and is classified in chemistry as a base. If the opposite of a base is an acid, what would happen if you rubbed a cotton ball soaked with vinegar or lemon juice on the red streaks? The paper changes back to yellow!


The Effect of Temperature and the Emergence on Sponge Creatures Lab

This lab poses the question of does the temperature of the water have anything to do with the amount of time a sponge creature emerges from its plastic coating. We started by getting the temperature of 100 ml of water to 30 degrees C and timed (in seconds) how long it took for the sponge creature to emerge from the plastic coating. Lab groups them do the same thing with water that is 45 degrees C. Students graph their data and compare it to class data for both temperatures. In class, we timed the emergence of a sponge creature in boiling water- just to compare with what we had for the 45 degree water and 30 degree water. Students answer questions on why the higher the temperature, the faster the emergence- we discussed kinetic energy (energy of motion) and how fast the molecules move in various temperatures of water.

Definitions for Scientific Method and Lab Skills

Real Science not only takes critical thinking, problem solving, etc, but it also takes a lot of TEAMWORK!

"Launching a satellite as complex as Swift takes hundreds and hundreds of people, and not just scientists and engineers, but business people, funders, and project managers, too. It can’t be done as a small enterprise. This video segment from Swift: Eyes through Time explains how cooperation is the core of modern science." Click on the link to find out more about the teamwork it takes to make this technology successful!
Swift Telescope
teamwork for Swift





















8th Grade Science Fair:


Science Fair Information & Entry Form

Deadline for choosing topic & having Entry Form filled out & signed:

Date: February 22nd, 6:00 at WIT
Take a look at past science fair applicants and winners- most states will have local and state science fairs!
Iowa State Science and Technology Fair
Iowa Energy Center Youth Scholarship

Project Ideas

Link to "Capturing Carbon" clip

Great ideas on this site too!

Practice you lab skills with the CSI team. There are 3 cases to solve, so start investigating by clicking in the following link:

CSI: The Experience


Here is a great study site for several topics in science & math....videos, karaoke, & quizzes
Study Jams!

Come along with this gang of 14 year olds to conduct experiments on dolphins, investigate horses, engineer a giant puppet, and more! Follow their investigations from their original questions to conclusions. Click on the link to find out more:
SciGirls ( and guys)