As teachers we typically do not have the time to deal with experiments not working. We picked that particular experiment because it would show the students a specific concept we are teaching. Sometimes we have the kids just explore to just see what happens, but other times we need clear data for students to analyze. That is what I strive to provide for teachers. Not only do I provide directions, but I like to provide clear tested directions and worksheets to go with it. The hope is that all you need to do is purchase the supplies, print the copies,and do a little preparation. You will then be able to provide a clear investigation, following the scientific method, to help teach your current concept. It also provides a great memorable learning experience.
Yesterday I was working on Color separation in Leaves (Chromatography). It is always fun to see all the colors that are in leaves. I decided to see if a maple leaf would work well. I rubbed a nice line of green on the filter paper. I let it dry for about 15 minutes like the directions said. I placed the filter paper into the rubbing alcohol. I will tell you rubbing alcohol does not move up filter paper as fast as water. Plan on 30 minutes to get results. Well, my results were dismal. There is some yellow that traveled, but nothing that will really get the point across that leaves contain numerous colors. Nothing like the pictures I saw on-line. All tips are welcome!!!
Time to think of what I did. First, I used the circular coffee filters. I think I will try a higher grade of filter paper. Secondly, it is fall. The leaves are beginning to fall and lose some of their brightness. Most likely the leaves just don't contain as many pigments as leaves in the middle of summer. Many websites kept mentioning using spinach leaves. There must be something to that. I will be purchasing spinach leaves today or tomorrow and hopefully I will have a picture of leaf chromatography to show you. Fall is a great time to teach about mixing and separating colors.
Well, I have completed my first blog. What is the toughest part? Decorating and formatting it. Watch in the weeks to come as I become more and more familiar with clipart, links, and many other gadgets. So many blogs look so beautiful and really catch your eye. It takes time to figure it all out. The reality is that I am spending most of my time working on activities for my students. As I learn, realize it is the content I am providing in my blog that I feel will help inspire teachers and students to perform great investigations. I also hope to learn lots of great tips from my followers as well.
Yours in Science,