CMDS Students Flesh Out Some Spooky Science

The CMDS Science Lab is in full-on spooky mode this week.

Science Lab teacher Ann Cameron has cooked up a variety of eerie experiments this week that are sure to have her 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders howling.

First grade is making Screaming Cups. Using only a cup, string and wet paper towel, they will create their spooky-sounding cups, which serve as an example of how a sounding board works.

(The vibrations from the string would be almost silent without the cup, but when you add the cup, it spreads the vibrations and amplifies them. Similarly, pianos and music boxes use wood to act as a sounding board to make the instrument louder.)

Second grade is making wriggly Franken-worms by cutting gummy worms into slices, soaking them in baking soda and water and then putting them in vinegar.

On the science side, the vinegar reacts with the baking soda to form carbon dioxide gas bubbles, which rise up through the vinegar and make the worms move. The worms wriggle until the reaction stops.

Ghost Rockets (film canisters filled with corn starch, warm water and Alka Seltzer) are also on the agenda for 2nd grade.

Third graders will make Spooky Lava Lamps using a clear jar, vegetable oil, water, Alka Seltzer and food coloring.

Because water is a polar molecule and oil is non-polar, the two substances won’t mix. Oil rests on top of water because it is less dense. When the Alka Seltzer (made of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate) reacts with the colored water to form carbon dioxide gas and sodium citrate, the carbon dioxide bubbles will carry the colored water to the top.

Erupting Pumpkins (using baking soda and vinegar) are also part of 3rd grade’s Science lesson this week.

A New Chapter in Science Lab
Ann Cameron

Ann Cameron

Mrs. Cameron is relishing her role as CMDS’ resident mad scientist.

She’s been a member of the school’s faculty since 1986 – and, as a mom and substitute teacher, was a familiar face on campus years before that – but her turn as Science Lab instructor is a new one. She spent most of her years as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher until deciding this year to try something different.

She’s having a blast.

“As a teacher, you read all these plans and fun activities and think, ‘Oh wouldn’t it be fun if we could.’ There was not time to do it,” she said. “But now I get to do all of these things!”

Mrs. Cameron has especially enjoyed working closely with Mary Cheairs, who previously taught Science Lab but moved over to the new Engineering Lab this year.

Mrs. Cameron is a mom to two CMDS alums, Kelly and John. Three of her grandchildren are current CMDS students, and four other grandchildren ­– who now live overseas – have attended when spending years stateside.


Leave A Comment