Science: Mountains

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week seventeen of school we did unit 10. Our science topic was mountains.

We folded a piece of paper as many times as possible.

We used Play-Doh to demonstrate how rock layers can fold into mountains.

We learned about types of mountains.

We watched YouTube videos on mountain formation, Mt. Everest, and how we know the age of the earth.

We learned about delamination

Science: Volcanoes

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week sixteen of school we did unit 9. Our science topic was volcanoes.

We learned about how volcanoes erupt.

We erupted baking soda and vinegar.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Eruption

We learned about the parts of a volcano.

We squeezed toothpaste out of a tube like it was magma.

Magma Toothpaste

We labeled a volcano.

We watched some videos of volcanic eruptions.

We squeezed Jell-O out of a baggie like it was lava.

Jell-O Lava Squeeze

We learned about types of volcanoes.

We played with a non-Newtonian fluid, cornstarch and water.

Non-Newtonian Cornstarch and Water

Science: Earthquakes

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks fourteen and fifteen of school we did unit 8. Our science topic was earthquakes.

We watched some videos of earthquakes.

We made a seismograph using a cup, string, box, and pen. Then we made “earthquakes” to see how it worked.

Homemade Seismograph

We put clay in one paper towel cover toilet paper tube and sand in another. Then we pushed into the clay and sand to try to push it through the paper towel. The clay pushed right through while the sand absorbed the pressure (that is until Adrian stuck his finger through the paper towel so he could see the sand all drain out).

Sand vs. Clay

We learned about P and S waves.

We demonstrated how a strike-slip earthquake works by dragging a brick across rough wood using a heavy duty rubber band.

Strike-Slip Earthquake

We showed how an earthquake affects buildings by building a Jenga house on top of a cutting board on top of marbles.

Jenga Earthquake

We learned about earthquake measurement scales.

Science: Plate Tectonics

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks twelve and thirteen of school we did unit 7. Our science topic was plate tectonics.

We watched YouTube videos about the magnetic and true north and how the earth’s crust deforms.

We made cookies and used them to demonstrate how the earth’s plates collide. I tried to decorate my cookie with the US, but it ended up looking more like Africa.

Cookie Plate Tectonics

We used our hands to show the way the plates collide or move past each other.

We demonstrated how the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is causing the Atlantic Ocean to widen by a few centimeters per year.

Cookie Plate Tectonics

We plotted a whole bunch of South American earthquakes.

We demonstrated the ways plates move past each other using graham crackers.

We learned about the Cascadia subduction zone, the Ring of Fire, and the East Arica Rift.

Science: Earth Structure

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Week eleven of school we did unit 6. Our science topic was earth structure.

We learned about the layers of the earth.

We demonstrated how waves travel through air vs. something solid and how that helps us know which layers of the earth are solid and which are liquid.

We used heat (from friction) to cause a top to “bounce” on a very cold bottle.

We used a hard-boiled egg to demonstrate the layers of the earth.

We used a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg to show how the earth wobbles as it spins like the raw egg does because of the liquid inside.

Egg Spin and Wobble

We played with magnets and iron filings to demonstrate magnetic fields.

Magnet and Iron Filings

Stronger Magnet and Iron Filings

We melted some grocery bags to show how plastic can melts.

We used boiling oil to show convection currents.

Science: Energy Conversion

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks nine and ten of school we did unit 5. Our science topic was energy conversion.

We learned about what energy types there are along the way from sun to food.

We traced the path of solar energy to television power.

We learned how a Newton’s Cradle works and played with one.

Newton’s Cradle

More Newton’s Cradle

We dropped two balls, a small one on top of a big one, to demonstrate how the energy in the big ball (that hit the ground first) magnifies the energy in the small ball.

Ball Drop

Ball Drop in Slow Motion

We made a quick energy drink and talked about how it changes type of energy in your body.

We played a quiz game about energy conversion.

We caused various collisions with little cars.

Car Collisions 1

Car Collisions 2

We watched a YouTube video of a car accident in slow motion.

We learned about what collisions mean scientifically.

We watched a clip from Sesame Street about a kinetic artist. The boys were a little freaked out by the monsters. I always forget they didn’t watch Sesame Street when they were little.

We watched a couple OK Go videos including one with a Rube Goldberg machine.

Science: Energy Sources

This year in school we are using Layers of Learning year 4. Weeks seven and eight of school we did unit 4. Our science topic was energy sources.

We learned about how a nuclear reactor works and then took a virtual tour of a nuclear power plant.

We learned about how nuclear chain reactions happen and then watched a demonstration using mousetraps and ping pong balls.

We learned about Enrico Fermi

We learned about fusion and colored a worksheet explaining it.

We learned about three major nuclear power plant meltdowns and their causes and results and discussed whether nuclear power deserves the fear surrounding it.

We watched a video of a mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb.

We demonstrated how turbines spin using a milk carton and water.

We made a water wheel using butter tubs.

Butter Tub Water Wheel

We traced the path of energy through a power plant.

We made a little light light up using a photovoltaic cell and a Snap Circuits kit.

Snap Cicuits Light With Photovoltaic Cell

We talked about the costs of different energy sources and the pros and cons of each.

We watched a video about responsible use of energy.