Sometimes you see something in your resources and you just have to try it. We had a lot of building happening here this morning along with a observation of a pair of Mallard ducks that visited our bird feeders. I thought I could bring in a little science experiment. If it worked we could use it for building/modeling with. If not then it’s a different type of learning.
This experiment came from How Wee Learn. It about the process of turning milk to plastic. She has been very successful in doing this within her K class.
I try not to use food as part of our play, but I also hate to waste food. I have some milk that is beyond date and will use most of it for baking, but thought could use the remainder for this experiment. Where I use vinegar as a cleaner I always have that on hand. Small group this morning so perfect time to pull in a science experiment.
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As gathered supplies we expanded language, worked on following directions. We smelled the milk and vinegar – good sensory! Measured out milk and into microwave. As numbers got low enough we watched and counted down. Measured again for the vinegar. Compare measuring tools and counting each TBLSP. Then it was taking turns as we used a fork to mix.
Now the observation of change in matter/ chemical reaction between the vinegar and milk. I did not explain why this happened because this young group really wouldn’t understand about milk protein. We just noticed solid and liquid.
We discussed how to get the water out and decided needed paper towels. We used our muscle power to push down until no new wet spots occurred. Then we explored our “Plastic from Milk”.
Ours was a lot of crumbs. It didn’t stick together really well, so we used for sensory and descriptive words – soft, rubbery, squishy, cold…..
We thought about why maybe we didn’t get a ball of plastic? Our milk was skim milk without much fat. We think the fat is what makes the milk balls that squishes together for the plastic ball. We’ll try whole milk or cream next time and test that thought out.
Sometimes it’s good to have an experiment not work as expected. It provides that opportunity to test your thoughts, ideas, make changes and try again. Learning from failure is as important as from success.