Online Science Videos & Lessons for K-8

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Floating and Sinking: Raising FUNdaMENTAL Questions

by: Thomas O'Brien

Learning science is FUNdaMENTAL—that is, it is a combination of hands-on FUN and minds-on MENTAL activity. It builds on students’ prior knowledge that has been acquired both from formal instruction and from daily life experiences. In this activity, raisins are observed to alternately rise (float) and fall (sink) in a cup of clear, colorless, carbonated soft drink. This cycle continues until the drink goes “flat.” This activity can be used to explore density and buoyancy, the solubility of gases in liquids under different temperatures and/or pressures, and diffusion and osmosis. It is a visual participatory analogy for, and a concrete example of, interactive learning experiences that challenge learners to raise questions and “question answers” about science and challenge teachers to learn more about the science and art of teaching.


Elementary SchoolMiddle SchoolHigh School


Type Book ChapterPub Date 3/1/2010Stock # PB271X_31

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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