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The Thirst Crow Experiment
On the first day of Science Club we tried out a myth-busting activity based on the video above. The materials required - water, a transparent container and stones are available everywhere. And most of my students knew and believed the story of the thirsty crow.
Aim: Is the story of the thirsty crow true? In a container that is quarter-filled with water, will the water rise to the top when we fill the container with stones?
Kids appreciated that their hypothesis does not have to be correct. Nor does it need to be corrected in their notebooks. It helped that most of the class suggested a hypothesis that did not turn out to be correct.
They also came up with different variations (using smaller marbles instead of stones, using different volumes of water) that we tried out as separate experiments.
Our discussions veered into the topics of Archimedes’ principle, buoyancy, volume of stones, volume of space between the stones (or marbles). Everyone seemed to have an opinion.
I think this is a great introductory activity to get middle school students to appreciate the purpose behind many science activities – to doubt, question and test our prior ‘knowledge’.