Friday, September 18, 2015

Codes, Enigmas, and Elephant Toothpaste

   We are off to a wonderful start in Science at SK with some activities that came with an air of mystery.   Karl's class is exploring DNA and the genetic code, and we began by translating a DNA code that I designed into a corresponding chain of amino acids that could then be used to decode a secret message. We then explored how different kinds of DNA mutations can alter our amino acid sequence, thus changing the meaning of the message (with some giggle inducing results!).
   In Jason and Sam's classes we stretched our investigative brains by examining some "enigma cylinders". Jason has done such a lovely job of describing this activity that I will refer you to his page here: Enigma Cylinders (Jason's Blog). Both Jason and Sam's classes did a wonderful job with this activity, which can be a challenge even for adults. I would tell you how they work but then I'd have to kill you (just kidding!).
   In Chris and Spencer's class we used a chemistry demonstration known as "elephant toothpaste" as a stimulus for discussions about what science is and what makes someone a scientist, safety in the laboratory, and methods of observation. We will be expanding these themes next time with some "germy" experiments. Can't get your little scientists to wash their hands?  I bet you will after next week!  See you then ;-)


  1. Sounds very cool. I'd volunteer to come in for some classes to do some sort of physiology experiment.

  2. Thanks Jill! I may take you up on that!