The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II

The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II
"Producers, not Consumers"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This week we are learning about changes in matter.
There are two types of changes in matter:  Physical (reversible) and Chemical (irreversible).

Physical change is a change that only changes the shape of the object.  Ideally the change is reversible.
Ripping a piece of paper,  melting ice, chopping up a log; these are all physical changes.

Chemical (irreversible) changes are changes that change matter from one thing to another thing. These changes are irreversible.
Burning paper, cooking eggs, and burning a log. These are chemical changes.

We have also come up with questions for our own personal science experiments. We are taking a weekly step by step approach to designing our own experiment. This will give us the training to help our children learn how to synthesis our own experiments. Although going to the library/ internet is the widely practiced method of getting our science projects it’s also the least honest. Our student’s projects should be a reflection of their own curiosity and work, not something copied from some kid in Vermont.

I’m also aware that finding a good science project can be difficult and frustrating. So let’s reset our expectations. I’m not looking for scientific complexity. Not from 2nd graders. But I am looking for your child’s ability answer a question scientifically.

It’s okay for the question to be banal or mundane. It’s okay if the question to have an obvious answer. But it is not okay to copy some other kids experiment, put your name on it, and for the student to come away with no idea as to what happened.
Here are some examples of some great questions that I received this week:

Which will freeze faster:  water or juice?
What makes Bubble gum sticky?
How can you walk on water?
Can you bring a dead flower back to life by using water?
What happens if you put finger nail polish remover on a leaf?
If, as a parent, you are still unsure about the Scientific Method, please read my “Scientific Whats-it?” blog entry.


  1. ok,this is awesome Mr Raines. Way cool.. Will the kids be allowed to blog or is this primarily for the parents? Waa cool.

  2. never blogged before...I feel like a kid. lol will you send us updates to remind us to look here? Sure beats having to do a newsletter every week. :)