What if? How come? Why does it do that? These are all things we discuss on Science Thursdays in our Pre-K room. Brookridge Day School has adopted the STEM program in our Pre-K classrooms. STEM stands for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics through a hands–on approach. Children observe, question, collect evidence, analyze and communicate results. (Adapted by Katrina L. Jones from Chalufour, I., & Worth, K. (2005) Young Scientist Series.)
Today we learned about weight and balance. Children were shown two different ways to measure – a platform scale for weighing and a balance scale. We asked questions like what do you think is heavier – a toy car or a marker? How many blocks does it take to balance evenly with a marker? We discussed how to balance items, what the difference is between light and heavy and how to weigh objects.
Children were then allowed to explore the scales and balances on their own to see if they could balance items and weigh toys. As a class we tried to find something that weighed five pounds. Most of our toys weighed in at one pound each. Each child searched the room looking for that heavy, five-pound item! After trying toy cars, pencil boxes, puzzles and a camera, we tried a wooden block. One was not enough but then a child suggested adding another. Two was still closer but not enough. Everyone wanted to continue adding blocks, weighing after each addition. The students were excited as the scale showed heavier each time. Finally with a count of seven unit blocks, we reached our goal of five pounds on the scale! Success at last!
Discovering a hands-on approach with real life items made learning fun and exciting! We are on our way to becoming scientists and life long learners!