scientific method!

tonight after dinner I settled in with the boys to assist in some homework
it is not such an easy task to assist six year old dean with his first grade homework as four year old grant also wants to assist
so grant sort of gets in the way
which is tought as it is not so easy to get a first grade boy to focus when there are so many other things on his mind

boys are easily distracted
young boys are even more so easily distracted
I know... as I think like a young boy


over dinner there was some discussion about the approaching Science Fair
like any father I love the Science Fair
the Science Fair is a chance for fathers to compete for a Blue Ribbon or a Gold Star!
as a child I remember my father having all sorts of wonderful Science Fair projects
which makes sense... he is a scientist by trade

this is my turn to be a dad... I am going to try and do things a little different
try to balance involvement with guidance
after all... Dean is only six years old... the project is more about learning about Scientific Method than actually discovering or proving anything
so parental involvement is part of the guiding process
the child should be involved rather than sent to bed to wake to a finished project

Dean's desire to build a Human Scale Hamster Ball was very cool... unlikely.... but cool!

after some thought... the Human Scale Hamster Ball was out of our scope
time and materials were one thing
skills and know how were another
we could not devise a braking system
living in a hilly neighborhood the Human Scale Hamster Ball would be a one way trip to destruction!
it was fun to think about and imagine
it was not possible for us to build

it was more of a model than a Science Fair Project using Scientific Method anyway
maybe Dean can build this one one his own in years to come

so... Dean and I took to the couch to discuss Scientific Method
while Grant assisted by jumping on the couch and climbing on my head
sometimes jumping off the back of the couch onto my head

-and Conclusion

I think off the top of my head that would be the basic outline of Scientific Method
Scientific Method on the Wiki Page

Dean and I talked... I reviewed what Scientific Method was then I produced a mental experiment; the mixing of Red and White Paint

-Question: what would happen if we mixed red and white paint?
-hypothesis: the two colors would blend to make a different color!
-experiment: we did not run this experiment... but we discussed it
-results: since we did not run the experiment we just had hypothetical results
-conclusion: YES! the mixture of the red and white paint did make a different color. If there is more red than white then the color is a dark shade of pink, while if there is more white paint than red the result is a more pale shade of pink

after the hypothetical experiment Dean and I discussed what sort of Science Fair Project he would like to do.... and of course... there were aliens... there were robots.... there was outer space
so... I brought it back to earth and guided the experiment
brought it back to earth
brought it back to the bike

question: what would happen if we put too much air into a bicycle inner tube?

dean and I discussed this
there was some slight confusion... which sent us to the basement to review the parts of the bicycle
a self inflicted slap to the forehead and Dean said... yes! that is the inner tube!
Dean knows the difference between the inner tube and the tire
but he was imagining the over inflation while the tube was within the tire on the wheel

the question was asked again...
what would happen if we put too much air into a bicycle inner tube?
now with a better understanding of the inner tube versus the tire Dean had an answer...

hypothesis: the inner tube will puff up... then get really big.... and it might explode!

experiment: we got a pump from the basement and a new never used12 inch bicycle inner tube from a kid's bike from the garage
set up the pump and the boys took turns with the pump

results: sure enough the tube got big
the inner tube puffed up larger than the tire it would fill
then the tube started to bulge
the boys alternated between turns with the pump
I took photos of the process... the boys each held the over inflated tube until it started to get large
then before I expected it
before anyone expected it
sure enough.... the over inflated bicycle tube exploded with a great noise
to which the boys exclaimed!
can I do another? can we do another?can we? can we? can we?
no... tubes cost money and there is more homework to do

conclusion: yes... if you over inflate the bicycle inner tube it will get puffy, it will over expand, and sure enough.. IT WILL EXPLODE! (much like a balloon)

the project is not done... but there was more homework to attack
I started the homework
but with grant dancing on the table and head butting me ever two seconds I thought my assistance would be greater if I lured Grant away from Dean
Grant and I went upstairs and read a pop up dinosaur book
then Grant played as I blogged

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