The sixth graders studied weather and light energy during the winter months of January, February, and March. The kids learned to use cloud observations, pressure trends, wind direction, and weather maps to make short term forecasts.
Most days the children used the school weather station to observe and record the weather conditions in Lyme. They compared these observations to conditions in Charlestown, our Weather Watchers sister school. They used data loggers to make temperature observations. They also used the loggers with icy water and tin cans to experiment with dew point. Later, they learned to determine relative humidity throughout the school with sling psychrometers. We learned that our school is a very dry place!
As February passed into March, the children did several experiments and activities to learn about the properties of light. They used flashlights to shine a beam of light at a mirror. When they used a protractor to measure the angle of the light striking the mirror and the light being reflected from the mirror, they discovered that the angles were the same.
Looking at themselves in the fronts and backs of spoons the kids learned about the properties of convex and concave mirrors. They learned about lenses and saw that our eyes focus with convex lenses when Mr. Pendleton demonstrated the dissection of a sheep eye.
The children observed that that white light is composed of a rainbow of colors when they observed it being refracted by prisms. They also looked at white light through spectroscopes and discovered that not all artificial lights produce the full spectrum of colors.