Saving the best for the last is always the norm for us at Sowing Seedz. With the hype built up throughout the days, the class could not wait to know what experiments they were going to do. They guessed it was sort of a baking lesson when they saw coloured beakers of water, fresh celery stalks, a packet of potato starch, water, cups and bowls. That is far from what we wanted to do!
There were 2 experiments for that day, and after laying them out to see, we shifted one set of experiment away to make way for the first one. With the lone tray, they were more focused and were able to tell us it was the celery experiment they were going to do.
On the first day of the programme, we taught them how to use their senses to make observations when it comes to exploring Science. It is a natural behaviour as that helps a child to link and think concepts together. Thus, we got them to see, touch and smell the freshly cut stalks and observe the stems closely. Initially hesitant, as that was not done in schools most of the time (due to the fast pace in schools), they took some time to get used to touching, seeing and smelling (short of tasting) the stalks. After “getting to know” their veggies, we instructed 3 of them to place the stalks gently into the coloured beakers of water… and observe.
During the interim, we went through a mini lesson on how plants transport water using their stems and got them to predict what would happen after 30 minutes. Head knowledge tells them plants absorb water via stems but as they did not see the actual experiment, they were not able to link the concepts well. However, after they had seen for themselves the coloured water seeping up the stems, the connection clicked instantly. OOHS and AHHHS were heard unanimously in the air.
The red coloured water was the most obvious to observe the red specks splashing all over the stalks. Blue coloured water came next and green coloured water was the last. However, as the shade of colours do differ, the concept was the same – plants absorb water via the stems. It was clear as day. We took further close up shots of the stalks and after the last observation, we removed the stalks from the water and sliced cross sections for the class to bring home.
We took further close up shots of the stalks and after the last observation, we removed the stalks from the water and sliced cross sections for the class to bring home.
One of our students commented he had seen this type of questions in exam questions, where the question states to shade the parts where water is absorbed by plants, and he was perfectly right! By linking real life experiments, they connected concepts easily.
We did not clear the beakers as we have the P5/P6 Science classes the following day, and we wanted to the stalks to soak up the colours. It was a beautiful picture. Can you observe the coloured shades on the top part of the stalks?