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Effervescent Tablet Lab

I decided to follow up our glow stick demonstration with an effervescent tablet lab.

effervescent tablet lab
Effervescent Tablet Lab
Effervescent Tablet Lab

This, sadly, did not go that well.  I assumed that my students would be able to design their own experiments.  My groups tried to do this, but most groups didn’t pay attention to what data they would need to collect.  My students were putting effervescent tablets in the water without measuring the temperature of the water or measuring the starting mass.  It was chaos.  🙁

I’ve since found out that my students did not get to do many if any labs in their middle school science classes.  They just haven’t been taught how to set up an experiment to be successful.  Now I know and can try to work with them.

We had a few overflows that had to be cleaned up.  Thank you paper towels!

In the future, I will give my students step-by-step directions for their first labs of the year.  We will work towards designing our own experiments toward the end of the year.

Another mistake I think I made with this lab was that I wanted them to change both the water temperatures AND the system type.  I think I should have picked only one of these.

I get so frustrated with myself sometimes because I feel like there is just so much I do not know about teaching a science class.  I’m learning every day, though.