METHUEN – Will an orange float in a bucket of water? What if it is peeled?
The fourth-graders at St. Monica School and those in Christine Habib’s class at the Marsh Grammar School learned the answers to those questions and more in a hands-on learning experience led by Mayor Stephen Zanni.
Mayor Zanni was welcomed to St. Monica’s on June 10 by Principal Sr. Suzanne Fondini and to the Marsh by Fourth-grade teacher Christine Habib on June 16.
Each lesson began with an explanation of Scientific Method and how to use it to solve a problem. Then the students went to work in teams, learning an orange does indeed float with the peel on but not without because the peel contains air pockets that provide buoyancy.
Next on the agenda: learning about surface tension. Each student filled a small cup all the way to the top and used a medicine dropper to add more water drop by drop just until it began to spill over. They observed how the water heaved over the top of the cup, taking on a mound-like shape. Surface tension. Then they placed a small piece of aluminum foil in the center of the water mound and watched as it moved to the side, but did not fall off or spill the water. The same happened with a toothpick.
Mayor Zanni promised to return when the students are in fifth-grade for more fun with science.