Those of us in Florida never quite get enough of the beach. As I am beginning to put together summer packets for my students I wanted to share some interesting science activities that families might consider for a beach vacation. Many of you might also be looking at an end of the year "beach party" and may find these activities helpful.
“Sand Castles” –
Using three different textures of sand, try to build the tallest sand castle. Limit construction to twenty minutes. At the conclusion of the activity what did you observe? What effect did the texture of the sand have on construction? Add water to the sand and repeat the activity. What role does water play in making the different sand samples more or less dense and pliable?
“Collecting Sand” –
Collect three different types of sand or soil. Observe what makes each the same or different. Weigh equal portions of each and compare the results. Observe the samples using a magnifier and describe what you observe.
“Making Sand” –
Collect materials which might be used to make sand. Include crushed shells and rocks. Place all of the materials in a large cloth sack and pound them with a hammer. Take the contents out and compare with various samples of sand.
“Sifting Sands” –
Construct 2’ by 2’ wire frames using wire of different weaves (from hardware cloth to screen). Use the frames as sieves and sift various sands. Is there a relationship between the sieve and the different sands? Will some sands not sift, while others pass through easily? The sieves can also be used for sorting small ocean animal skeletons, shells or other materials.
“What’s in the Water?” –Collect samples of water from various sources (bottle, pond, lake, rivers, puddles, ocean) and observe each through a microscope. How are the samples similar or different? Reflect upon the impact of pollutants.