Thursday, April 10, 2014

Consumer Reports

Today was the world famous paper towel experiment. Which towel reigns supreme? Well, it all depends. Bounty held the most liquid in all trials and our school towels, the least. However, when we factored in price, the story changed. Clearly, the school made the right choice by choosing the less expensive towel.

Now for the process.  Students were given the challenge and introduced to the tools.  There were gram weights, balance scales and graduated cylinders to choose from.  First they had to plan how to use the tools to measure.  Some came up with a plan for the balance scale and weights, while others went the route of the graduated cylinder.  In either case the children had to measure before and after.  Students who used the graduated cylinders determined absorbency by comparing the amount of liquid in the cylinder before and after.  As for the balance scale, students weighed the paper towel dry and then after absorbing all the water it could.  Finally, more comparing gave us the amount of liquid each towel could hold.  
Both experiences gave us some great practical use of all the measurement skills and knowledge we have been learning in math this unit.  I hope everyone enjoyed our science/math crossover and much needed practice of the metric system.

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