Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Betlog Experiment

Grade Two.

I would like to remember Science as fun and exciting.   There were activities where we would dissect a Gumamela plant to identify what the pistil, corona and hymen were. Sometimes we would use magnets to explain a scientific idea.   But other than these hazed reflections, I cannot recall a time when Science had a profound impact on my childhood.

When I was in Grade Four, our Science teacher, Mister Gangan would teach the states of matter in class. Solid, Liquid and Gas. Every pupil knows the essence of each different states.  At the same time, he also reads those newsletters about sightings of Aswangs and hordes of Duwendes terrorizing a  miserable household. He would sometimes read the articles between lessons and the next thing we knew, kids would be swapping stories about a White Lady groaning in one of the cubicles of the girls' bathroom.  

The lack of  fond memories in my Science subject is the reason I accepted Bentusi's job offer.  Bentusi is my other boss; the online nanay who provides the raketship project a real sense of purpose.   The objective is to come up with science activities for children.  It will be published in a local magazine but I sourced the materials from the Internet.

The challenge of writing the experiments is not with the material, but with the manner of expression.  Bentusi explicitly said that I should use simple language and short sentences for students to understand the  proposed activities.  For someone who's favorite words are "conjure," "emancipate" and "transit," the shift in style poses a big challenge.

But I love kids. They remind me that my responsibilities lie not with the present but with the future.   Therefore, no matter how difficult it was to adjust, small words squeezed out of my head.

And so i began writing and found a piece of my childhood between the  puerile sentences.   I was right, the windfall would extend beyond my coffers and find its spot right at the heart of my blog as well.  Halfway through, I decided to try one of the experiments myself.   The challenge was how to make an egg float in a glass full of water.

Activity III: The Salty Experiment (Grade One)

Objects float better in sea water than in fresh water because of salt. Salt makes the water heavier and the more salt there is in a body of water, objects that are lighter float in it.

This activity answers how many teaspoons of table salt must be added in a glass of water before an object floats in it.

Materials Needed:

drinking glass
a cup of table salt

What to do:

1. Fill the drinking glass with water. Make it half-full.
2. Place the egg inside the glass. It will sink.
3. Add a teaspoon of salt. Make sure to write how many teaspoons were added before the egg finally floats.


1. How many teaspoons of salt must be added before the egg finally floats?
2. If the drinking glass is filled with warm water, would the egg float faster?

Like all jaded adults,  I was a non-believer.  Instead of the egg floating, it was my frustration surfacing.  I was wasting teaspoons of table salt for an experiment that had no proven results.  But there I was, in the midst of quitting and re-discovering the practical applications of buoyancy - for the first time - went on with the experiment.

My sister found it silly.  My brother-in-law, who was having dinner grinned at the table.  But at the back of my head, for this writing project to have a spirit, the writer must believe that something worthwhile would come out from such venture.

The result came after the thirtieth teaspoon of salt was added into the water.

"Ahh ang galing!"    Like the tip of the iceberg, the egg really did float.

With a grin similar to a pupil on a verge of new discovery,  the heart of the matter was finally revealed to me.


Mac Callister said...

really?i never knew that!

ang galing naman!where d'you get the idea?

tinuro din ba sau yun or its something na naisip mo lang?

orally said...

hahaha,oo nga challenge nga to sa mga kagaya mong mahilig sa mga nakaka-nosebleed na words.
magaling. nakaka-contribute sa kaalaman ng kabataan.

(hate ko ang subject pero ang hilig-hilig ng science teacher ko na ipadala ako sa quiz bee dati)

blagadag said...

i recalled my brother went swimming in a beach in jordan where he floated because that part of the red sea is so salty.

Ms. Chuniverse said...

Love the title.


Mr. Hush Hush said...

this is nice read Mugen =) 2 thumbs up!

c - e - i - b - o - h said...

this is a very cute post sir Mugen! a simple yet so real experiment about buoyancy..

i have always been a fan of science!

Désolé Boy said...

that is sooooo cool!!
i love science. but no, not the grey's anatomy-esque side of science =)

Mr. Brightside said...

Natuwa ako dito, masubukan nga sa bahay mamaya, pero pag tulog na lahat, baka pagalitan nila ako sa pag-aaksaya ng asin =D

red the mod said...

The very same reason why everyone, regardless of weight and body type, will float at the Dead Sea.

~Carrie~ said...

When i read the title, I thought it's one of those dark, social experiments on sex. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Pero nakakaaliw ang entry mo, friend.

Ex Jason said...

after two days, may uulamin nang salted egg.

daniel said...

Wow sis' after a month century egg na yan!

Sis' I'm happy with ur new raket. Sayang dika nakapunta kala Mami, mega bonding kami.

Godbless sis' Miss yah.