After conducting guided investigations of sound and electrical conductivity, Sixth Graders have designed and carried out their own tests of heat conductivity in metals. Each group designed an apparatus to test a single variable and limit sources of error as much as possible. In addition to increased accuracy in developing and recording data, safety considerations were carefully evaluated by each group. Data analysis was facilitated by graphing techniques learned in Mathematics classes this month. The Sixth Graders’ success in these investigations reflects an increasingly sophisticated approach to their learning in the methods of science.
Purposeful exploration, creative and logical problem solving, and a maturing, generous sense of collaboration among the groups and between the classes meant everyone shared in the progress, everyone succeeded in carrying out their own investigation, and everyone appreciated others’ ideas and contributions. Companionship, integrity, and respect grew along with learning about the physical properties of matter. When we see these metals in our environment, we will all have just a bit more insight into why they are the way they are…and we know our friends will, too.
By Robert Taub – Middle School science teacher