Because she is a kinesthetic and visual learner, I have to provide experiments that teach her the properties and principles of everything. I'm okay with that; it just requires more prep work than the auditory kid...or the kid (me!) who writes everything down and remembers it forever.
Currently, we are doing physical science in our first grade curriciulum. Last week, we learned about solids, liquids, and gases, and because the concepts were so simple, an experiment wasn't required...well, almost not required...we did do a Sink and Float experiment, but that was just because it's fun. Science is fun.
This week, we are talking about light. And I just know that when she wakes up, she's going to want to know how light works. What is refraction? How does light bend? How can light through water make rainbows? Oh goodness, it's going to be a long week of exploration, that's for sure.
To be on the ready, I've planned a few experiments for the week to help her understand light as best as possible at the ripe age of six. I've laid them out in question form, so you can use them based on your child's questions...hope it helps!
Why Is the Sky Blue?
- Large ball jar or clear, plastic box (an aquarium would work too)
- A few drops of milk
- Blank white index card
- Fill the jar or container with water.
- Place the flashlight on one side of the container, so the light shines through the water.
- Add milk a few drops at a time. Stir until you can see the beam shining through the liquid.
What to Look For
Watch the light coming through the container from the side of the tank and then from the end of the tank. You will notice that from the side of the tank, the color is blue and the from the end of the tank, the color is more yellow.
If you are having a hard time seeing it, use the white index card and have the light shine onto that.
The colors will show so long as you've added enough milk to the water.
- The sun makes white light, which is made up of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & violet.
- Light is a wave.
- Each color rides on its own wave because it corresponds to a different frequency. This is known as a wavelength.
- When light shines through the sky (earth's atmosphere), the light is scattered because of the gas molecules in the air. We see blue light because it scatters more than other lights. Blue has a shorter wavelength, so it is easier for it to go in all different directions.
- The reason that we see an orange sunset at night (as opposed to looking like that all day) is because the light takes a longer path through the sky to your eyes because the sun is on the horizon.
Angles of Reflection
- Science notebook
- 4 x 6 inch Mirror
- Masking Tape
- Using masking tape, mount the mirror to the wall at eye level and cover it with paper.
- With a partner, try and guess where you both need to stand to see each other in the mirror (write it down). Mark that spot on the floor with masking tape.
- Stand at those spots. If you can't see each other,try another spot until you can both see each other.
- Next, place masking tape from the center of your marked spots to directly under the mirror. What angle is it? This tells you how light bounces off the mirror and into your eyes.