Discovery Questions
Discovery Questions provide opportunities for teachers to direct their students in making their own explorations and discoveries. A simple experiment is described for each question. Students are to perform the experiment, then from the results, state a hypothesis (a guess) about the answer to the question. Lastly, a comparison of the hypothesis with the results from the South Pole is made.


SOUTH POLE SOAP BUBBLES:

Can you blow soap bubbles at the South Pole? (Submitted by: Laura Fields Roberts' Kindergarten Class, St. Matthews Elementary, Louisville, Ky.)

Experiment: Compare the size, shape, and number of soap bubbles produced at different temperatures, such as the warm air inside a building and colder air outdoors. Do this by using store bought or home made soap bubbles. Blow bubbles indoors and outdoors. (Note: When blowing bubbles indoors, do this over a sink or bathtub so the floor will not get soapy.)

Results: A description of the bubbles you blew. Size? Shape? Number?

Hypothesis: From your results, form a hypothesis to answer the question.

Conclusion: Compare your hypothesis with the report from the pole near the end of the Travel Tales for that day.


CHILLED QUILLS:

What would happen to an ink pen, such as a Bic pen, in the cold of Antarctica? (Submitted by Patty Jenken's sixth and seventh grade classes at St. John's Episcopal Day School, Marlin, TX.)

Experiment: Compare how an ink pen writes when warm and when it is cold. Do this by writing with a pen that has been at room temperature. Then place the same pen in a freezer for 4 to 5 hours. Remove it from the freezer and try to write with it.

Hypothesis: From your results, form a hypothesis to answer the question.

Conclusions: Compare your hypothesis with the report from the pole.


ICE NEEDED: FAST!

How long would it take for a paper cup of water to freeze at the South Pole? (Submitted by Anne Skrabanek, member of Greater Waco Christian Homeschool Assoc., Waco, TX Waco Home Schooling Coop, Perry, TX.)

Experiment: Fill a 5 ounce paper cup full with water. Place the cup of water in the freezer or outdoors if the temperature is below freezing. Observe the contents of the cup as often as possible and note how long it takes the water to freeze.

Hypothesis: From your results, form a hypothesis to answer the question.

Conclusions: Compare your hypothesis with the report from the pole.


FADING COLORS

Do colors fade at the South Pole? (Submitted by Marybeth Green, librarian at Walzem Elementary, San Antonio, TX.)

Experiment: Expose similar shirts to an equal amount of sunlight. Compare the colors.

Hypothesis: From your results, form a hypothesis to answer the question.

Conclusions: Compare your hypothesis with the report from the pole.