In early April, Gr. 6 students used their school laptops to work on experiments that they designed themselves. “This is the first year that the sixth grade has had laptop computers and they are an amazing resource for learning science by doing science,” said Daniel Sommer, who, along with colleague Ben Morgensen, is running the activities in their science classes. “The students have already completed seven computer-based labs this year, but this week they got to ask a scientific question and design an experiment to test their own hypothesis,” said Sommer.
“My students probably completed 30-plus different experiments today related to heat, heat transfer, magnetism, density, temperature of a chemical reaction, and basic physical proper ties of matter,” he added. “This was a great culminating activity for ever ything students have learned about experimental design, especially identifying their experimental variable and controlling variables.”
“It also gave them an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to use the Logger Lite data collection software we have been using this year,” said Sommer. ”I am sure ‘design your own experiment’ week will be a highlight of the sixth grade science curriculum for many years to come.”