Dancing Raisins

If you heard it through the grapevine you’re old enough to remember the Dancing Raisins of the 1970’s!

California_Raisin_claymation

Cleaning out old files, I came across the dancing raisin experiment I did with my first graders while teaching the scientific method:

  1. Problem: Which liquid will cause the raisins to dance?
  2. Materials I need: cup of water, cup of clear soda, raisins.
  3. Hypothesis: I think ____________ will make the raisins dance (choices: soda, water, neither)
  4. Procedure: Drop the raisins into the liquids at the same time; count “jumps.”
  5. Results: Raisins in ______________”danced” the most!
  6. Conclusions: The hypothesis was ______________ (right, wrong).

Objectives: learn science process; observe carbon monoxide effect

I required my darlings to write numbers five and six in crayon, otherwise, had their hypothesis been incorrect, they would change it! I explained that the science process is an ongoing exploration, a learning experience. It’s okay if your hypothesis is incorrect. Nothing is ever final.

Those who know me generally consider me conservative, but I get extremely annoyed when I hear uninformed friends explaining what scientists believe. For example, NO scientist will tell you that we evolved from apes, unless he was speaking in the 1800’s, yet I have heard more than one friend assert that is what current science maintains. The scientific process is designed to TEST, OBSERVE and REVISE. Validity is determined by EVIDENCE, not opinion, not politics. Science is a process – a learning process. A process of continual testing, observation, revision.

Let’s keep an open mind. Let’s keep learning!

FYI: The bubbles in the carbon dioxide gas were released from the carbonated soda. The raisins, denser than the liquid, initially sank. When bubbles stuck to the raisins’ rough surface, the raisins lifted due to an increase in buoyancy. Bubbles popped at the surface and CO2 escaped. The raisins lost their buoyancy and sank. Fun discussion on what makes us burp. Try this at home (the experiment, not the burping).

picture credit: Claymation

Youtube Marvin Gaye, Heard it Through the Grapevine

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