Sixth-grade students at Blessed Sacrament School in Westminster enjoyed the opportunity to spend an early-May morning as junior instructors during a hands-on lab presentation for the school’s Early Childhood program. To the absolute delight of the 2 1/2 to 4-year-old Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten students present, they were shown how to make slime.
The inspiration for the lesson stems from prior coursework in the upper grade science program, in which the students learned about polymer compounds and the difference between homogenous and heterogeneous mixtures. Using common household items, the junior high students experimented with making substances of varying textures through a series of hands-on exercises in the school’s state of the art Science Lab.
In turn, they were able to apply this knowledge to their fledgling role as lab instructors for the special occasion at hand.
“They spent a week working independently in groups to plan for the lesson and prepare their instructional aids and slime ahead of time,” said Mrs. Augustine Bonifacio, the school’s science director.
On the day of the presentation, the groups split up among the three Early Childhood classrooms to conduct a simultaneous lesson that was enthusiastically received by the younger students.
Beginning with a brief explanation of the scientific processes involved in the activity, the 6th-grade instructors made a point to use plenty of interesting visual aids and carefully chosen age-appropriate language to communicate their ideas and to demonstrate how these messy substances are made. In doing so, their students also learned about basic principles of measurement and measuring ingredients.
All in all, it was a resounding success and the presentations were followed by what their captivated audiences had been most anxiously awaiting: an opportunity to play with the slime! Wide-eyed and grins aplenty, the Early Childhood students enjoyed every moment of stretching, squishing and manipulating the lab creations in small groups while the instructors helped them along with the activity.
The school’s Early Childhood Director, Mrs. Christina Sinclair, said: “We were so happy to host this event as part of our continued effort to promote lifelong learning to all of our Early Childhood students and today’s activities were extra special because it also showed them that science can be fun!”