In our current science unit, we’ve been learning about the foundations of geology, including soil, rocks, minerals, weathering, and erosion. We tried growing alum crystals and then sugar crystals, but it didn’t work out. I wasn’t too disappointed, as Ray and the girls grew crystals not too long ago. (Growing sugar crystals is very simple; I think we just didn’t give it enough time.) A failed experiment is a learning opportunity, and the girls made some good guesses as to how to improve this experiment for next time.
We also did a successful chemical weathering lab which required the use of a limestone rock, and unfortunately the only one we had available was from our rock collection.We soaked the rock in vinegar which acts upon the rock to remove the lime (or calcium oxide), so needless to say we’ll need to get our hands on a different limestone rock to replace the one in our kit. We also did a steel wool & vinegar experiment (steel wool rusting) as another example of chemical weathering, and a lima bean in Plaster of Paris experiment to simulate physical weathering with the power of plants.
Today I was lucky to locate a Rock N’ Learn video on the topic of Earth Science for 3rd – 8th graders. It’s available for rent on Amazon, so we’ll close out this until with a viewing of this 40-minute video this week before we dive head-on into learning about fossils.