Monday, October 5, 2009

Cyberchase Weather Watchers - A Weekly Unplugged Project

The mountains were fogged in this morning, giving us a perfect lead in to a dew point experiment from the PBS Kids' Cyberchase site, that we had planned today as our weekly Unplugged Project. This weeks theme being weather, we were thrilled to discover a series of Cyberchase episodes featuring weather, and accompanied on the PBS Kids website by printable weather worksheets, and follow-up experiments.
We started our day today, by watching "Cyberchase: Gone With The Fog", on YouTube, over breakfast.

Then worked on a dew point experiment.

First, we determined our room temperature, by filling a can with water, and measuring the temperature on the outside of the can.

Then, we added ice, a little at a time to the can...

...until condensation appeared on the outside.

We had to take the show's word for it that the dew point is 45 degrees Fahrenheit, as our thermometer did not go that low. But the children were able to use it to observe the temperature dropping within the can, before the condensation appeared.

It might seem a little strange to use a television show as the basis for an Unplugged project (the idea of which is to promote time away from the television), but the number of hands on activities provided on the website, make the Cyberchase Weather Watcher pages, too good to pass up. And, the actual project, did lead us away from the televison, into the real world.

Be sure to visit Unplug Your Kids, to explore more weather related project.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


chris said...

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This Girl loves to Talk said...

awesome idea! i have never heard of this.. great science experiment