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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Viscosity

Viscosity

Interestingly no one had heard of this word before but plenty of suggestions came up of what it sounded like or reminded students of but from experience I know that kids enjoy playing with marbles and getting messy with gooey stuff.

We organised ourselves and set all our equipment up. As I explained the experiment students made predictions about which liquid the marble would pass through the fastest. (Word had obviously spread because in the first class we had a wide range of predictions but by the last class this had suddenly narrowed suspiciously). We needed to discuss some questions about what would make a 'fair test' and there was a diverse range of background knowledge but within their groups students were able to identify the important variables which would need to remain constant.

video





Filling containers and timing the marble through various liquids was fun. Rescuing marbles was messy!


We delved into maths with a mini lesson on how to work out averages and use short division (very relevant with Statistical investigations going on back in classrooms) and I knew that some understood it well when they were able to teach their peers who needed a little more reinforcement. As we were using stopwatches, another mini lesson was required for decimals and rounding. So much more fun to learn in an authentic, need to know, in the moment experience.

Learning to work out averages with short division
Teaching another how to work out averages
From all our testing and some directive questioning students were able to come to the conclusion that 'viscosity' is, put very simply, how thick a liquid is or put a bit more technically, a liquid's resistance to flow.

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