Wednesday, February 10, 2016

How Does Your Temperature Change After Exercise? Fun Science Experiment for Kids

   I decided to do a fun experiment with our children to see what happens to their body temperatures after exercise. They love having their temperatures taken and this gave them the opportunity to have it taken twice!

How Does Your Temperature Change After Exercise?  Fun Science Experiment for Kids

You will need:
  • Digital Thermometer(s) (depending on number of children)
  • Alcohol and paper towels to clean the thermometer
  • Willing children
  • Pen and paper or notebook
  • That's it!

     Have the children sit down and rest and then take their temperatures and write down the starting temperature for each child.  This was actually the hardest part of the experiment for us (getting them to sit still).  They saw the park and wanted to bounce up and run.  Ask the children if they think their temperatures will go up or down after they exercise.  Then, let them run around or do jumping jacks for several minutes.  Take their temperatures again and write them down. Have the children who are not being measured continue to exercise until it is their turn.  Compare the numbers. Did they go up or down? Were their predictions correct?

These were the results from our sample:
Capri:      Resting = 99.3      After Exercise = 97.6
Ryder:     Resting = 97.6      After Exercise = 96.7
Grayson: Resting = 99.7      After Exercise = 98.3
Xayden:  Resting = 97.8      After Exercise = 97.1

     If your children are able to subtract decimals, have them figure out the difference between their resting temperatures and their temperatures after exercise. If you try this out, I would love for you to share here or on the Capri + 3 Facebook page and let me know if your results were similar.

       After extensive research, I found a variety of answers to the question as to why their temperatures dropped.  There is a discussion on the topic here by Joseph Brennemann, MD and a comment by a biology professor here who wonders if the change may be related to mouth breathing.  I think his theory is plausible as I observed that our kids had trouble sealing their mouths around the thermometer after exercising. 

Here are MORE Human Body Themed Educational Posts from the #TeachECE team:
Where is the Heart? Body Identification Game from Still Playing School
Moving My Body Gross Motor Game from Life Over C’s
Thumbprint Addition from Rainy Day Mum
Let’s Look Inside a Bone from Tiny Tots Adventures
Tips for Helping Preschoolers with Self-Regulation Skills! from The Preschool Toolbox

Friday, February 5, 2016

Re-purpose Dryer Lint for Gardening: Green STEM Activity for Kids

     It is fun to share my love of gardening with our kids. They enjoy getting their hands in the dirt and getting involved in the process. When we are potting plants, soil often leaches out through the drainage holes. Not only does this waste the soil, but it leaves a mess. We re-purposed dryer lint to solve this problem.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Re-purpose Dryer Lint for Gardening: Green-STEM Activity for Kids 
You will need:
  • Dryer Lint 
  • Empty applesauce cups or other small re-purposed containers
  • Hammer
  • Large nail
  • Soil
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Craft sticks 
  • Paper straws (optional)  Your kids can use these first and, instead of tossing them, re-purpose.
  • Permanent Marker 
     Turn each applesauce container upside down and make three drainage holes in the bottom using the nail and hammer.  I had the kids attempt this part but our hammer was too heavy. If your children are older, perhaps they could do this part with adult supervision, otherwise it is an adult task.  

     If using straws, cut the straw in half or in thirds depending on the size of your container. Cut the craft sticks in pieces large enough to write the name of what you are planting.  Cut two slits in the straw and insert the craft stick with the name in permanent marker as shown in the picture above.  Alternatively, simply write the names of the plants on whole craft sticks and insert them into the soil.

     Have the children fill the container about one third full of dryer lint.  Then, have them fill it with soil on top of the lint.

     Once the soil is in the container, follow the instructions on your packet of seeds to determine the depth of hole needed for your seeds.  Make the holes in the soil, and have the children sprinkle or place the seeds and cover with soil.  Then gently water and observe how the lint prevents the soil from coming out the bottom of the container.  Notice how the water still drains effectively.  

     Place the containers in an area that receives natural light, either indoors or out depending on your climate and conditions.  If you are looking for quick gratification for your children or students, I recommend kale (or another fast sprouting seed). Our children were very excited when they began to see the kale growing in our containers.  It is fun for them to check the progress each day.  Save any leftover lint and collect more to use in all your potted plants.

Check out more great STEM ideas in 28 Days of STEM hosted by Left Brain Craft Brain.  We are excited to be participating!

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