October 20, 2015 by WittyLibrarian
Target Age Range: Grades 1-3
Program Length: 60 minutes
Brief Description: Explore the wonders of water with a variety of water experiments.
Water (lots of water!)
Clear Plastic Cups
Thick books to use as risers
Clear Glass Cup
Paper Cup with a hole in it.
Bucket or large container to catch water in
Ziplock sandwich bags
Empty plastic soda bottle with cap
A paper with arrows printed on them
Small Paper cups
Cost: $ 0-50
- Take a paper cup and make a hole in the bottom of the cup.
- Take an empty plastic soda bottle and punch holes in it with the push pin. Fill it with water to the very top and put the cup on.
- Introduction of theme
2. Set up Puddle Experiment, to check on periodically throughout the program. (Note: this experiment only works if you have easy access to a sunny outdoor location. The experiment can be removed from the program if the location or weather is not feasible to run the experiment).
3. Read two books. We used Water can be… by Laura Purdie Salas and All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson
6. Demonstrate and explain the Gravity Water experiment Demonstrate and explain the Water Cup Drop Experiment
7. Demonstrate and explain the Water Cup Drop
8. Demonstrate and explain the Leak Proof Bag Experiment
9. Demonstrate and explain the Do Not Open Experiment from Stevespanglerscience.com
10. Demonstrate and explain Arrow Water Illusion
12. Optional: Demonstrate and explain Water Mirror Reflections
We started the program by setting this experiment up. We poured a large amount of water on a sunny patch of concrete outside our program room and outlined it in chalk. Periodically throughout the rest of the program, we would check on the puddle and see how far the water had receded from the original chalk line.
We set this up just as described, and participants could observe the progress of the ice melting throughout the rest of the program.
- Water Walking experiment
We broke participants up in groups of four and had them set up the following two experiments: Escaping Water from Sciencekids.co.nz and Walking Water on Playbasedlearning.com.au. We used books as risers for the Walking Water on Playbasedlearning.com.au experiment. As with the puddle experiment, we checked on the progress of the experiments periodically for the rest of the program.
- Demonstrate and explain the Gravity Water experiment
We used both Experience Gravity Free Water from Sciencekids.co.nz and Anti-Gravity Water from Stevespanglerscience.com for this experiment. We gathered the participants around a large table so they all could see the experiment. We performed it multiple times at the request of the audience. We highly recommend practicing this experiment before the program, as it is tricky.
- Demonstrate and explain the Water Cup Drop Experiment
We performed the experiment over a large container to catch the cup and water when it landed. We also did this demonstration multiple times.
- Demonstrate the Leak Proof Bag Experiment
This was by far the most popular demonstrate. We did it multiple times, and the audience counted how many pencils could be pushed into a bag before it began leaking. We recommend practicing this one before the program, as well
- Demonstrate the Do Not Open Experiment from Stevespanglerscience.com
We set up one bottle for this experiment before the program started, and one of the librarians opened the bottle in front of the audience, much to their delight. We then explained how it worked, and took another empty plastic soda bottle and repeated the experiment.
- Demonstrate Arrow Water Illusion
We printed out arrows and demonstrated this illusion.
- Water on a Penny Experiment
We gave each participant a penny, an eye dropper, and a small cup of water, and had them see how many drops of water could fit on a penny.
- Optional: Demonstrate Water Mirror Reflections
A fun experiment that compliments the Water Arrow illusion nicely.
What we would do differently:
The demonstrations in this program were extraordinarily received. Each experiment had to be demonstrated multiple times, as the kids were amazed by them all. We would actually consider adding in more demonstrations, and eliminating the Water Walking experiment. While the Water Walking experiment is neat in theory, in reality, it did not work that well, and hardly any of the experiments worked. We speculate that had we more time, we would have seen a noticeable difference.
Adaptation for older/younger audience:
As the majority of this program is demonstration, it would actually work well for a younger Pre-K and Kindergarten age audience. For this younger age group, we do recommend eliminating the Water Walking experiment, but everything else, including the book choices, would work well.
Portions of this program would work well for a Tween audience, especially the Gravity Water, Water Cup Drop and Leak Proof Bag demonstrations. We would suggest finding a more indepth experiment to supplement the demonstrations.