Nature of Science: Milk Lab

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year!  What an exciting time to be a Highline Pirate! It was a pleasure meeting over 170 new students on Wednesday, and I appreciated the enthusiasm everyone showed playing the “This-or-That” game.  On Thursday and Friday, we reviewed the Pirate Way and then launched in to the Milk Lab.  On Thursday, students combined 2% milk, food coloring, and liquid soap.  After carefully documenting “before soap” and “after soap” observations, students worked with their lab partner to come up with a testable hypothesis about what caused the “after soap” reaction. Students were asked to write a new procedure, changing either the type of milk or soap used.  On Friday, students conducted the experiment again, following their new procedure.  Most groups had time to extend their learning by integrating the results from their new experiment, formulating a new hypothesis, and running a third experiment.  After carefully recording all observations, students assembled into larger lab groups, sharing results with other students who had tested similar experimental conditions (i.e. used the same procedure including the same type of milk).  Groups then reported their findings out to the class.  We created a class summary table each period which included the variable changed (type of milk or soap) and the outcome (compared with 2% milk).  We will revisit the summary tables and analyze the results across my five biology classes in the near future.

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