Discovery Lab at Central Washington University

By Jenna Richter | October 4, 2016 | Uncategorized

On Friday we spent the day on the Central Washington University Campus.  We are so lucky to have so many families with amazing community connections.  We have four CWU faculty families.  This time we were hosted by Allyson in the Science Department.

We started our day in the greenhouse.  Our guide explained how scientists use observations to create new questions.  It was a lovely experience to have the students observations guide our tour.  Students noticed that there were plants with enormous leaves, and we discussed why it would  be useful to have such a big leaf in the canopy.  We saw how a bromeliad can hold water for the inhabitants of the jungle and how plants defend themselves.

The guide asking the students what they were observing in the greenhouse. We were aloud to touch everything!
The guide asking the students what they were observing in the greenhouse. We were aloud to touch everything!

 

When we went into the cactus house, we learned that thorns, and milky sap and a chemical that would make you feel full if ingested were ways a cactus could defend itself.  We even saw something the cactus might need to protect itself from, a giant tortoise!

Snorkel the tortiose peeking out at us.
Snorkel the tortiose peeking out at us.

 

Our next stop was the lab.  Allyson led us through an experiment using candy.  We first learned about a problem, which was a friend at “Camp Way Too Hot” needing an emergency candy delivery.  Then students choose two candies to test.  Using hot water, they submerged candies for two minutes then recorded their results.

Harlow and Oisin chose licorice and mini Starburst. Harlow measured the temperature at 110 degrees.
Harlow and Oisin chose licorice and mini Starburst. Harlow measured the temperature at 110 degrees.

 

Each group then shared their result in a scientist meeting.  After finding licorice and Swedish Fish to be the most solid, they went back to the lab with hotter water to see if they would really stand the heat.  After yet another meeting, we concluded that licorice was the most heat resistant.

Allyson helping the students to analyze their data.
Allyson helping the students to analyze their data.

 

Allyson will be helping us all year to learn about matter.  What a treat to spend the day as scientists.