Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bubblegum Lab

Students dissect the art of blowing bubbles through Math, Science, English Language Arts, Design and Social Studies!

Create a graph that shows how many students can and cannot blow a bubble. Students that know how to blow a bubble can write a how-to to help peers learn the art of bubble making. Students that have difficulty can write how they think a bubble is made.

Geometry / 3D solids 
Students examine the shape of the gum out of the wrapper (cylinder or rectangular prism depending on the brand). They compare the shape of the gum pre-chewed to making a bubble (sphere).

Instruct students to measure the length of the gum before and after being chewed. Have kids stretch their chewed gum out (as far as they can) and lay it on a piece of wax paper (make sure they have clean hands!). How long can they stretch it? Then, have students blow a bubble and measure the diameter of it. Once they find the diameter, have them figure out the circumference of their bubble.

Mean, Median, Mode and Range
List the students' circumference measurements on the board and have them figure out the mean, median, mode and range using the numbers listed.

States of Matter
solid - gum out of wrapper
liquid - saliva when chewed
gas - blowing a bubble
solid - chewed gum

Ask kids if they think the gum underwent a physical or chemical change. 
Answer - Physical change, there was nothing new created. Matter wasn't destroyed. 
Next, have them write about how their gum physically changed (density, color and temperature). 

What made the gum get soft? Was it the saliva? Have kids place their chewed gum in ice water (or take a drink of ice water). They will notice that the gum will get hard. Does temperature play a role? 

Predict: Will un-chewed, chewed and chewed exposed to water have the same mass?
Lay the gum on a square of wax paper and compare it to a piece of un-chewed gum. Then, weigh the gum that has been chewed and exposed to cold water. Did they all weigh the same?

Figurative Language
Have students describe bubblegum by using a simile or a metaphor.

Have kids invent a new flavor of gum! Then, have them write a recipe for their bubblegum. What will they call their gum? 

They need to design a three-dimensional shape for the gum. Can they figure out the volume? Have the students design a logo and packaging. What is the area and perimeter of their gum's wrapper? How many pieces of gum does their main packaging hold? Where can you buy it? 

How much will their bubblegum cost? Have the students create math problems, using the cost of their gum, to figure out how much money they would make depending on how many packs are sold.

History - Extra Credit 
Students who research who invented gum and the art of bubble making get extra credit points!

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