After starting the 2020–21 school year online with our distance learning program, Beyond the Classroom, students and teachers alike were excited to meet on campus for an experiential learning day outdoors. Open to all students who are able to attend, these optional on-campus sessions give students the opportunity to learn and interact in person with one another and their teachers while balancing COVID-19 safety and precautions as best we can in this moment.
Grade 8 students had a lesson in hydraulics, the physics of fluids. They experimented with “dueling syringes” to feel the effects of pressure on water, learning that the same effort on a smaller area creates more pressure—and that different sizes of syringe can shoot water farther!
Students also explored the properties of density and buoyancy by designing boats from sheets of foil to begin to understand how density and buoyancy relate to one another. They then began to create data sets by seeing whether cubes of equal volume would float or sink. In a future lesson students will weigh the cubes, first in air and then in water, to see how much water is displaced and observe the laws that govern buoyancy.
The day ended with some fun as eighth grade students were joined by their first grade buddies for a socially distanced game on the playground.