Monday, October 6, 2008

The Finn Factor

Science is an anticipated subject in our home school program mainly for the experiments. I try to incorporate simple, fun experiments that demonstrate what we've been covering in the realm of science. It's this hands on stuff that really drives concepts home, not only for my daughter, but for me as well.
The process usually starts with the gathering of supplies, explaining what we will be observing, and then making a hypothesis of the outcome. Now, scientists usually have to take into account certain factors that can effect the outcome of their experiments. In our case, that factor is Finn. I'm learning that a very curious two year old can have an impact on our scientific processes.
Example #1: When making a solar oven, after wrapping a box with aluminum foil and placing s'mores inside, one must cover the top of the box with plastic wrap and tape the edges in order to keep heat in and keep bugs out.
This creates a perfect opportunity for little fingers to start poking holes through the tightly stretched, heavily secured plastic wrap, thus causing a botched repair job.

The result: S'mores get finished off in the kitchen oven and enjoyed after The Factor's nap.

Example # 2: When testing good and bad insulators, one must have a control, and in this case it's a piece of ice left alone to melt to which every other piece is compared.
We measure how fast the other pieces of ice are melting as compared to the melting rate of the control piece.
What one does not want to encounter is the following situation:

Me: "Oh look, the control piece of ice has melted already. Wow, that was fast!"

The Factor: "I ate the ice!"

Me: "You what?"

The Factor: "I ate the ice all gone!"

The result: The insulated pieces of ice are compared to each other to determine melt rates, and The Factor enjoys a nice, cool treat.

I've come to realize that I'm thankful that our experiments we conduct are just demonstrations of science that's already proven. I think if history's scientists had to factor in Finn for every experiment, we might not be as advanced as we are today!
Nessa Dee


Abby said...

That bead head of Finn's made my day. Wow! Go science!!!

yoon see said...

Thanks for your great sharing, Nessa!
Agree with abby. I love science.
So much discovery & fun involved.