February Science Experiments

We pretended to be owls and hunted different colored pom-pom mice. We chose the color we could see the best for the first one we grabbed. Both Fritz and Adrian picked yellow while Cameron chose black.
February Science Experiments

We looked at Lola’s hair under the microscope.
February Science Experiments

We made fossil casts. We pressed shells and things into clay and then poured plaster of paris on top of the clay.
February Science Experiments

We looked closely at the layers of a sedimentary rock.
February Science Experiments

We completed a logic puzzle identifying which fossils are found in what layer at the Grand Canyon.
February Science Experiments

We looked at cut pieces of trees and learned about the rings and what they mean.
February Science Experiments

We compared different soil samples under the microscope.
February Science Experiments

We learned about and made biomes.
February Science Experiments

January Science Experiments

We looked at blood under the microscope. None of the boys were willing to prick their own finger so I ended up doing it.
January Science Experiments

We listened to each other’s heartbeats using the stethoscope. Little did I know when I bought that stethoscope in 1997 for nursing school that it would still be getting used 20 years later!
January Science Experiments

We used balloons to measure our lung capacity. We took really big breaths
and then breathed all the air out into the balloons. Not surprise that Cameron has the biggest lung capacity, followed by me, then Fritz, and Adrian has the smallest.
January Science Experiments

We moved our joints in all the different ways joints move.
January Science Experiments

We dissected a chicken wing, paying attention to the skin, fat, muscles, and bones and how they connect to each other.
January Science Experiments

We demonstrated how quickly bacteria multiply. We started with a sheet of
paper representing the parent bacterium. We ripped it in half showing that one
becomes two in 15 minutes. We ripped those in half making four in 30 minutes.
Then we ripped those in half making eight in 45 minutes and so on until after 150 minutes we would’ve had 1,024 bits of bacteria confetti. We graphed the exponential growth.
January Science Experiments

We sat still and contemplated the organ systems that were working inside our bodies.
January Science Experiments

We examined insect wings and looked at them under the microscope. (This is a cockroach wing. It’s strangely pretty.)
January Science Experiments

We made a to scale timeline of the geological time of the earth. It stretched all the way across the entire house. The beginning of time is at the door. The little circle at the bottom is the appearance of humans.
January Science Experiments

November and December Science Experiments

We opened the second jar of applesauce we canned two months ago. Nobody was brave enough to eat it, though.
November and December Science Experiments

We identified the parts of a plant.
November and December Science Experiments

We made a slide using the root and looked at it under the microscope.
November and December Science Experiments

We dissected a lima bean and identified the seed parts.
November and December Science Experiments

We dissected a flower and identified all the parts.
November and December Science Experiments

We made a battery out of a lime, pennies, nails, wire, and a calculator.
November and December Science Experiments

We looked at sound waves by plucking guitar strings and rubberbands stretched between our fingers.
November and December Science Experiments

Cameron punched a word in braille on cardboard and the other two boys tried to read it with their fingers.
November and December Science Experiments

We looked at a slide of skin cells.
November and December Science Experiments

We assembled a filtration system (to show how a kidney works) using a two-liter bottle, rocks, sand, cotton balls, and coffee filters. They ran water mixed with dirt and oil through it.
November and December Science Experiments

We balanced on one foot and observed how their bodies worked to keep them upright.
November and December Science Experiments

We shined a flashlight in their eyes to see how their pupils automatically constrict when exposed to light.
November and December Science Experiments

We demonstrated how the body wants to stay in homeostatis. They checked their pulse (Fritz’s was 72 beats per minute) and then exercised for one full minute. They checked their pulse again (Fritz’s went up to 108 beats per minute). Then they relaxed for five minutes and then checked their pulse one more time (Fritz’s had gotten back down to 78 beats per minute).
November and December Science Experiments

I told each of them their birth stories. Adrian apologized for being born 12 days late.
November and December Science Experiments

And, of course, we dissected a frog.

October Science Experiments

We leaned about DNA and made a double helix partially unzipped with a section being replicated with RNA. We used marshmallows (the different colors represent different amino acids), beads, toothpicks, and pipe cleaners to make it.

We extracted some DNA from Cameron’s cheek cells and then looked at it under the microscope. It was quite complicated and only worked so-so.

We learned about mitosis and made posters showing the life cycle of a cell. Those posters are now on the walls of our dining room (aka schoolroom).

We viewed a prepared slide of an allium (onion) root tip. We could see the cells undergoing mitosis.

We learned about the phases of meiosis. We made a flipbook showing each part.

We viewed a prepared slide of a lily anther undergoing meiosis.

We compared the genetics of the boys and their parents and three of their grandparents.

We looked at hair under the microscope.

We created our very own Qwuitekutesnute. We laid out attributes from the mother and father along with whether those traits were dominant or recessive. Then we flipped a coin to randomly assign those attributes. Using basic DD, rr, Dr, we applied those traits to our baby, resulting in our own unique Qwitekutesnute.

Frog Dissection

Today was the dreaded day. Today was the day we dissected a frog.

Frog Dissection

Fritz started out brave and made the first cuts.

Frog Dissection

Adrian was quite interested looking inside at the organs and identifying them.

Frog Dissection

Cameron, meanwhile, stayed across the deck as far away from the frog as possible. He is perfectly willing to turn in his Man Card if it means he doesn’t have to touch a preserved frog or see very much while it’s being dissected.

Frog Dissection

The dissection eventually got to Fritz and he couldn’t stop gagging. He’s now rethinking the idea of becoming a doctor.

Frog Dissection

It was fascinating. Somehow I never dissected a frog. Cats, sheep heart, cow eye, etc. in A&P in college, yes, but never a frog.

Frog Dissection

I think the boys (at least the older two) are glad that is over and they won’t be dissecting anything else this year.

August and September Science Experiments

We plotted an area of ground and observed all the living things in the plot. Then we estimated how many of each of those living things we could expect to find in an area ten times bigger.
August and September Science Experiments

We learned the parts of our microscope and how to use it.
August and September Science Experiments

We made a slide using some typed words and looked at it under the microscope.
August and September Science Experiments

It was really cool!
August and September Science Experiments

We sliced off a very thin bit of cork and made it into a slide. We also looked at very thin slices of apple and apple peel using the microscope.
August and September Science Experiments

We made applesauce. We ate some and canned some in a water bath. Once they were processed, we labeled one to be opened in two weeks and one to be opened in two months.
August and September Science Experiments

Two weeks later, we opened one of the jars of applesauce and ate it. It was exactly the same as it had been the day we made it!
August and September Science Experiments

We made a slide using cheek cells (dyed with methylene blue) and looked at them under the microscope.
August and September Science Experiments

We made an animal cell using Plaster of Paris and Sculpey clay. We made the organelles, baked them, and assembled them in the plaster. We waited for the plaster to cure a few days and then coated the top in glue to represent cytoplasm.
August and September Science Experiments

We were really happy with how our cell turned out.
August and September Science Experiments

We learned how to read nutrition labels and compared brown and white rice flour. We were supposed to do this experiment with all purpose and whole wheat flour, but we had to adjust it since we can’t have wheat in our house. We tested the flours for the presence of starch using iodine.
August and September Science Experiments

We looked at the brown and white rice flours under the microscope. The brown rice flour (pictured) looked like rigid crystals. The white rice flour looked much fuzzier around the edges.
August and September Science Experiments

We filled a Ziploc baggie with water and cornstarch and placed it in a cup of water and iodine. We checked it every 10 minutes for 30 minutes and then every hour for 3 hours. The iodine diffused through the baggie, reacted with the starch, and turned the water in the baggie dark purple. We removed the baggie and added cornstarch to the iodine water. It immediately turned dark purple.
August and September Science Experiments

We cut a thin slice of corn and made a slide using it. We stained it with iodine (and got a positive starch test) and looked at it under the microscope.
August and September Science Experiments

We inspected the underside of leaves and looked for the stomata. We drew diagrams of leaves.
August and September Science Experiments

We cut a piece of a thick leaf and looked at it under the microscope. We could see the cells and different colors.
August and September Science Experiments

(We are using REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2 this year. As you can see from all these awesome experiments, we are loving it!)

A Year of Science Bags

I learned years ago that unless I put science supplies together in weekly bags, I am not likely to do all the experiments planned. Last year, I planned to do three weeks at a time, but then I was getting ready to have surgery and not knowing how recovery would go, I went ahead and assembled the bags for the rest of the school year. It helped so much having things ready and waiting that this year I decided to put them together now so everything is ready before the school year even starts.

A Year of Science Bags

There is one bag for each week of school/chapter in REAL Science Odyssey Biology 2. That means each bag holds supplies for 2-3 experiments.

A Year of Science Bags

Each bag has a card listing what additional supplies we need for the experiments. Sometimes those supplies are on the shelf (too big to fit in the bags), sometimes they are things in the kitchen, and sometimes they are things we use day to day.

A Year of Science Bags

The bags fit nicely in the bin. Each week, we can just grab the bag from the front and get to work. Super easy.

A Year of Science Bags

Not everything I ordered has arrived at this point (should be here Wednesday), so I have a “cheat sheet” telling me what I need to add to the bags. It also lists what I need to buy (perishables), grow (radish plants), or find (dead insects) for certain weeks. I’ll probably transfer that list into my Bullet Journal so it’s always handy throughout the year. It feels nice to be all ready for the whole science year like this.