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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Drama Teacher's New Spin On An Old Experiment

Lessons Learned

A Little Drama In The Science Lab

I had seen it done countless times. All successfully. I had tried it and done it successfully numerous times myself growing up in the country with all of the neighboring kids and all of the projects and games involving buckets and water. It always worked. And it was something close to magical to see because despite the spinning around and again, not a drop of water ever spilled. It was the perfect five minute science filler that would stir awe and excitement and leave the kids saying, “Wow! That was cool!” From there, it was straight to lunch and recess with big science inspired smiles. It wasn’t a particularly big bucket and it wasn’t overly filled with water, but the entire exhibition was just right for the first grade scientists for whom it was designed. We went outside with the necessary accoutrements, sat in the grass, and prepared to be amazed. After a very brief and simple explanation, I spun the bucket three or four times not spilling a bit to an accompaniment of gleeful ooohs and ahhhs. “Please show us again!” “And again!” Perfect! As we were lining up for lunch, Nathan asked, “May I try it?” Why not? “Sure, Nathan!”  After two successful spins, Nathan’s spinning arm picked up some momentum, rapidly. “Nathan, it would be really good to stop now; you did a great job!” “I can’t!” Faster. Faster. Then, in a move such as one would make to jump in on a double-dutch rope jumping  game, I moved in on Nathan’s spinning arm. It stopped in midair, upside-down, drenching us both, but saving his arm. Silence followed charged with a certain amount of awe, fear, disbelief, and hilarity. One quiet giggle pierced the silence; it was Nathan. “Wow! That was cool!” he erupted.  Uncontainable giggles. Then off to lunch and recess with big science inspired smiles. Perfect.