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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Get the Fruit OUT!!

I finally got myself back into Leo’s preschool classroom this week to conduct an ever-popular Sid the Science Kid experiment. It totally makes me giggle to know that the children in Leo’s class call me The Science Mom. Who would have believed THAT a couple of years ago? I really love working with the kids and look forward to spending time in the classroom. Thankfully, the Sid website has all the activities I need available to print out and take along to the preschool.
Following Sid’s lead I decided to conduct the Frozen Fruit investigation with the kids. You can find it here. The goal of the investigation is to freeze grapes in a cup of water and figure out how to get them out. Along the way we learn about reversible change: Will the grape change once it is frozen and then defrosted?
I did minimal prep work to make things move smoothly in the classroom. I labeled small paper cups with the children’s names. Then I washed and counted grapes so that everyone had 2 and added a few more to a plastic bag. I brought a large container to store all of the cups later in the school freezer. I planned to do the experiment in two sessions, as the water needed time to freeze.
Once in the classroom I sat with the kids in circle time and we talked about the grapes. We used words to describe the grapes: sweet, shiny, slippery, wet. Then I asked them to predict what would happen to the grapes if we froze them. Once again the kids came up with wonderful ideas: the grapes would explode, the grapes would get crunchy, the grapes would lose the peel. Next, I proposed that we test out our ideas by freezing the grapes in cups of water.
The kids were wiggly with their excitement. We lined up to wash hands and then we handed out the cups. Next the kids placed two grapes in each cup. Finally, they patiently lined up to fill the cups with water…just enough to cover the grapes.
The freezer at school is just across the way from the classroom so we marched them over and placed the cups inside. Apparently it is also where the school stockpiles the juice!
I returned two days later to finish the investigation. The children were eager to examine the cups and see what had happened to the grapes. For me, this is where the real fun started. I brought in a couple of deep pans for the kids to use in the experiment in the hopes of avoiding a huge wet mess. Thank goodness for Miss D.; she encourages messes and reminded me that water is no biggie!
Once we distributed the cups back to the kids we talked about how to get the ice block out. Suggestions included screwdrivers, hammers, and a knife. As they talked I made sure they were holding the cups in their hands, warming the paper. I told them to dump the ice out and voila! They had small grape filled cubes to play with. We discussed how the warmth from their hands loosened the ice.
Then came the big question: How do we get the fruit OUT? Again they talked about tools. Finally, Leo, being a smartypants, suggested that we use warm water. He had done this experiment with me before! So, we filled their now empty cups with warm water that the kids poured onto their cubes. It was so much fun to watch them exclaim as the ice melted away and the grapes were pulled free. The children used their little fingers to the grapes and pop the fruit into their mouths. Yum! Science and a snack!
We wrapped up the experiment by talking about the grapes. We learned that after a deep freeze the grapes didn’t change much at all! They were still sweet, still shiny, and still a little cold. Reversible change!
We had so much fun that I didn’t snap as many photos as I would have liked. I guess that is the measure of a great Sid the Science Kid experiment!

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
Jim Hensen Corporation logo CPB ViNCi MetLife The Rosehills Foundation S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation logo The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations logo

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