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  #1  
Old 01-24-2006, 09:32 AM
camsmom camsmom is offline
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Exclamation Kindergarten HELP ASAP PLZZ!!!!

My youngest son wants to complete a science project for his school's science fair. He is in Kindergarten and is extremely bright, can read do math, etc. I am at a loss at what topic to suggest for a kindergartener.

I used to teach 4th grade and also have a fourth grade son and he is doing a project on electromagnets but I have no idea on something for kindergarden level. He needs to incorporate the scientific method so he cannot do a simple demonstation.

I asked him what he would want to do but he doesn't know either. He is very mechanical minded and likes to see how things are put together and build things. He has also shown interest in volume and straws- showing me that if he puts his finger over a straw that the liquid stays in...he also curious about the whirlpool effect when water is draining in a sink...I thought food project might be a good idea for kindergarten but was not sure..

Can someone please give us some ideas of an investigavtive project that my kindergarten son might do that wouldn't be TOO simple or boring for him.

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 01-24-2006, 12:31 PM
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Talking a Suggestion

My suggestion is that you recommend your son to do it on this project on [url]http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/science_fair_projects/39/475/cbe45aef86bab20c2fc93bb286708cee.html:[/url]
(the following is the project, about how much energy does peanuts have, i'm sure that your son could handle this project, its fun and though a little hard, you could help him do this exciting project!

Just about everything has potential energy stored in it. The problem is releasing that energy to be able to do some work.

A tiny peanut contains stored chemical energy. When we eat them, the stored energy is converted by our bodies so we can do work. We can also use the energy in a peanut to heat a container of water.


A small bag/can of unsalted, shelled peanuts
A cork
A needle
A large metal juice or coffee can
A small metal can (like a soup can) with paper label removed
A can opener
A hammer
A large nail
A metal BBQ skewer (like the kind for kebobs)
About a cup of water
A thermometer
Some matches or a lighter (ask an adult for help here)
A piece of paper and pencil to record your observations

Carefully push the eye of the needle into the smaller end of the cork.

Then gently push the pointed end of the needle into a peanut. If you push too hard the peanut will break. If it does, use another peanut. It's also better to have the peanut at a slight angle.

Remove the two ends of the large juice can with the can opener. Be careful as the top's and bottom's edge can be sharp!

Using the hammer and nail, have an adult punch holes around the bottom of the large can. These are air holes that will make the can act like a chimney and will contain the heat energy focussing it on the smaller can.

Remove the top end of the small can (if it is not already removed).

Using the hammer and nail, punch two holes near the top of the small can exactly opposite each other.

Slide the BBQ skewer through the holes of the small can.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into the small can and let it sit for an hour. This will allow the water to be heated or cooled to room temperature. (Munch on some peanuts while you're waiting.)

Put the thermometer into the water and record the temperature on your paper.

Place the cork and peanut on a nonflammable surface. Light the peanut with a match or lighter. Have an adult help you! Sometimes the peanut can be difficult to light, so the lighter may be easier to use.

As soon as the peanut has caught fire, immediately place the large can around the nut. Balance the skewer holding the small can on the top of the large can.

Allow the nut to burn for several minutes or until it goes out.

Stir the water with the thermometer and record the temperature again.


The chemical energy stored in the peanut was released and converted into heat energy. The heat energy raised the temperature of the water in the small can.

Try a couple of other experiments using different kinds of peanuts or other kinds of nuts. Try:

Raw peanuts
Dry roasted peanuts
Vacuum-packed peanuts
Freeze-dried peanuts
Try cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts or other kinds of nuts. (Do they contain more energy than the peanut? Why or why not?)
You might want to try more than one peanut. You'll need extra needles. Use four or five peanuts to heat the water. Is the temperature four or five times higher?

Energy is measured in a unit called the Btu, which stands for British thermal unit. A Btu is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Using math, you can figure out how many Btu are in the one peanut. (The plural or Btu is still Btu, not Btus.)

First you'll need to find out how heavy 1/2 cup of water is. Use a small scale and weigh the small can with nothing in it. Then weigh the can with 1/2 cup of water in it. That will tell you how much the water weighs.

Then, knowing how hot the water was, how many degrees its temperature was raised, you can figure out roughly how many Btu are in the peanut. (PLEASE NOTE: This will be an approximate figure because the entire peanut will not be completely burned...there is still some chemical energy left inside the partially burned peanut. In order to measure the heat energy exactly, you would need to use a sophisticated piece of machinery called a "calorimeter".)

For example: If the water weighed four ounces (1/4 of a pound), one Btu would raise the water temperature 4 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if your water temperature increased by 10 degrees (70 degrees at room temperature to 80 degrees), 10 divided by 4 would mean the peanut contained approximately 2.5 Btu. This is only an example of the math and will not be the same as your calculations.

One Btu equals approximately:

One blue-tip kitchen match
0.252 kilogram Calories (food calories)
1000 Btu equal approximately:

One average candy bar (252 kilogram Calories)
One hour of bicycling
4/5 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
NOTE: You may see Btu defined as 252 calories. These are International Table calories which are equal to 1000 of the "Calories" or "kilocalories" we use for measuring food energy.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2006, 05:02 PM
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Default RE: Peanut power question

If we were to do a project like this it would have to follow the scientific method....where we would basically have to answer a question..this is where I have a little bit of problem...would a good scientific question be "can a peanut produce energy?" any advice on this would help! I know what I would have expected from my fourth graders but I have had such a difficult time at getting my mind around what a "kinder question or project" would be or would answer.

I have seen a few good ideas like yours but have had a difficult time trying to think of a question or turning it into what I think is a project (because I am not used to this lower grade level) and not just an experiment activity or model and trying to have my son understand the concept of the question and project at the same time..
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Old 01-25-2006, 10:59 AM
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Talking reply

your project question could be Can Heat Obtained from the Conversion of a peanut's potential energy to heat energy be used to warm water?
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It was many and many a year ago,
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That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
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Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2006, 11:28 AM
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Talking Smartie Project for a Kindergarden Smartie!

I think I have the perfect project for a kindergardener.

Problem/Question - Can water be used to separate a food dye into more than one color?
__________________________________________________ _______________

Materials - 1.) 1 bag of Smarties candies. (At least 20 Smarties of each color)
2.) Approximatly 2 rolls of quilted paper towels*
3.) 1 plastic, average-sized eyedropper.
4.) Approximatly 400 clothes-pins*
5.) Approximatly 200 Non-acidic labels*
6.) Markers with Coordinating colors as Smarties
7.) Approximatly 1 quart of water*
8.) Approximatly 3 yards of twine or closeline*

*These are approximate numbers. They will vary based on how many times the person conducting the experiment wishes to test each color. The numbers above should be adequete to test each color of Smartie 20 times!

__________________________________________________ _______________

Hypothesis - I believe that a drop of water will cause the food dye to separate into a spectrum of primary colors.**

**Hypothesis will vary based on the experiment conductor's personal opinion.

(Remember, a hypothesis is based on previous knowledge and is similar to an educated guess. It is perfectly acceptable if your experiment disproves your theory. Always conduct background research before creating a hypothesis.)

__________________________________________________ _______________

Procedure - 1.) Place a paper towel underneath a Smartie.
2.) Using a non-acidic label and a marker that coordinates with
the Smartie's color, place a label on the paper towel telling
the color of the Smartie, the amount of drops applyed, and
the date and time.
3.) Let sit for 10 minutes.
4.) Remove Smartie
5.) Tack paper towel onto twine or clothesline.
6.) Record Observations
7.) Repeat as needed.

__________________________________________________ _______________

Then, create your own conclusion and demonstration, and you've got a fantasic project. This project is easy and fun, not to mention yummy. This is a kindergarden aged project that will guarentee good results! I hope this helps!

HAPPY LEARNING!
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:35 PM
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Default

Also, please tell us how your son does in the science fair, I'm sure we'd all love to know!!
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:08 PM
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Default

Thank you Everyone for suggestions!!!

Broadway Baby, I did like the one you mentioned and will probably help him do that one. He does like colors and what colors mix to make certain colors...He also LOVES candy - no surprise there! I think he would understand the concept and love the project...

question: I looked at the procedure you recommended...I dont recall (I read over it once) a specific number of water drops to add. Should it be a particular amount, an amount to totally dissolve the candy, or different? Please let me know

Again Thanks so much for your advice!
BTW, I'll let you know how it goes!
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Old 01-25-2006, 04:13 PM
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Talking

The number of drops is really your choice, just be sure to be consitant through-out the project. To help you choose, however, test different amounts before hand and them make your dicision. Hope that helps.

BTW, the more drops of water, the less strong the colors will be, however, they will bleed more causing a larger ring on your paper towel!
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:57 PM
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Question made a mistake?????HELP ASAP!

I have all the things to try the project Broadwaybaby suggested.

I decided to try the experiemnt myself before i let my 5 year old son work on it to see how many drops would be best for him and I think I maybe doing something wrong.

I have tried various number of water drops from 5 to 20 and the only color that I can see is the powered goo of the same color as the candy on the paper towel- no rainbow - not more than one color. The only color that vaguely had a different color is purple..purple was apparent and there was a slight tinge of blue...other than that clear water and candy goo...from what I understand I should be seeing different colors on the paper towels...am i doing it wrong? am i using the wrong candy??I have smarties the little pill looking candy in pastels (pink,blue,green,yellow,orange, purple pastels)? Anyone have any suggetions on what I might be doing wrong.....plz any advice would be appreciated!!!
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:24 PM
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Lightbulb i think i might have figured it out.

i think i may have figured out my problem ....apparently there are two types of candy called "smarties". researching online in places like Canada, UK, Austrialia, etc they have "smartie candy that have a hard candy coating on them...from what I have found they are like M & M 's. I think these "smarties" are the ones called for on this project. I live in the U.S. and here at least in my part of the US we have smarties that dont have a candy coating and they are not at all chocolate or like M & M's. They are almost the consistancy of Sweetarts but not as tart. So I am going to change the candy in the project to m & m's which are readily available here..but not sure if i'll get the same results. My initial test have small color variations with a few of the colors but not all. If any one has any suggestions, I would appreciate it
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