Monday's labs were some of the best ever. The kids were all engaged in the material.
The younger kids did the Six Cent Top lab from Teaching Physics with Toys. They made tops and then timed the spins with changes in mass to the tops. We explored rotational motion and inertia.
The teens worked from the TOPS module, Analysis. This is organized in task cards that the pairs work through at their own pace. I made three copies of the cards, one for each group, and laminated them. On some I put the answers on the back of the card and some I left blank to assure that I talked with them about their results.
I love the tone of the cards, gently urging the students to conserve their resources, to reuse materials. Household materials are usually all that is required, for example, we analyzed alum, corn starch, baking soda, salt and sugar. I like the clothespin/paper clip tongs.
We will use more sophisticated equipment later on but I think the TOPS modules are quite good at demonstrating essential chemical lab principles in straightforward ways. They are deceptively simple. PRM