Science grades 5-8: home experiments and Zoom

Our six students in the science 5-8 class meet three times a week on Zoom for far-ranging discussions… and to show their results of their home experiments growing sunflowers hydroponically.  Some of the discussions start from sections in the book we’ve used at time, How Science Works, with extensions well beyond the book from student research and from the long and continuing research career of teacher Vince Gutschick.  Students start other discussions, based on often voracious reading of current events – COVID-19, recent rocket tests, and more.  For the hydroponics experiment the students picked up seeds 2 weeks ago, along with air pumps and concentrates of two nutrient solutions.  Before the lockdown they had studied the nutrient solution chemical makeup in detail.

Here are two students in the middle of a Zoom meeting:

and here are some plants after careful sprouting and positioning in growth pots.  The second set shows strong heliotropism, or bending toward the (sun)light; Vince advised the students to rotate the plant positions to get the plants to grow straighter.  These 4 images are on a slider: