Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Accidental Bubble Science

In a recent post, I wrote about STEM learning, and claimed that the preschool kiddos are natural scientists.  Today they did an awesome job of demonstrating the curiosity and experimentation that scientists participate in, and reformed their ideas about the world based on what they observed.  

I set up a shallow water table with bubble wands and solution, and it happened to be near both the misters and a plastic picnic table.  The table was damp from the misters, so when a few clusters of bubbles landed on the table, they didn't pop - until helped along by the children.
 When the bubbles were popped they turned to a foamy mess, which reminded the children of the shaving cream we sometimes use to clean the tables inside - so a couple of kiddos set to work cleaning the table with bubble foam.
 Meantime, at the bubble play table, one of the children made an accidental discovery: he could put a bubble wand right through a large bubble, without it breaking.  Woah!  Two separate incidences of bubbles NOT BREAKING, when usually they burst so easily.
 Several children started poking at the large bubble, trying to replicate the results - as good scientists do. 

 One child, examining the large bubbles carefully for what must have been the first time, was fascinated by the way rainbow colors swirled and moved in the bubble.  He noticed that the colors faded as the bubble grew older.
The children who had been spreading bubble foam on the table were also interested, and I suggested they try making big bubbles on the table.
 "Why aren't they popping," I prompted.  The girls were sure it was because of the soap on the table.  I suggested we rinse off the soap, and see what would happen.  They took turns helping pour the watering can out on the table, and then tried blowing more bubbles.
 They held bubbles in their hands - and they didn't pop.
 They blew bubbles on the wet (but no longer soapy) table, and they didn't pop.  I was really hoping someone would suggest the bubbles didn't pop because the table was wet... but no.  I was informed that there must have still been some soap on the table, at least from the new bubbles.
 It was really hard to do, but I let them move on with their experiment in their own way.  They didn't want to figure out why the bubbles didn't pop any more - they had turned back into children, enjoying the moment of making big bubbles on a beautiful day. 
Even scientists have to stop and blow bubbles sometimes!

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