Class 11 and 12 are pretty important in the grand scheme of things because they help prepare students for college academics.
While most students are interested in Science (obviously, since they joined the Science stream to begin with), the subject can bog them down after a while, drowning as they are under the weight of all the new and complex concepts that they are learning.
Here is what you can do to fix this. Add project activities to the mix. While Science is about theory, it is also equally about doing and experimenting and of course, confirming the results. Give students a taste of being scientists/researchers with these 6 fun project activities.
1.What – Demonstration Of The Phenomenon Of Total Internal Reflection
An experiment to show that when light travels from a denser to rarer medium and when it is incident in denser medium at an angle more than the critical angle, then it is totally internally reflected.
Why : To learn the concepts of reflection, refraction and total internal reflection
Materials : Laser pointer, large glass container, water, protractor, milk/ Dettol liquid, powdered juice solution and a dry-erase marker.
How : Fill a glass container with water and add milk to it until the solution is cloudy enough to see the laser pointer when you pass the beam through it. Turn on the laser pointer and play with it in different angles till you find the angle at which no beam leaves the surface of the solution i.e the angle at which the light beam is completely reflected back into the water. Take the dry-erase marker and mark the angles on the container. Try the same experiment using different solutions like powdered juice solution, muddy water etc and observe the difference.
2. What – Calculating The Specific Heat Capacity Of Water
An experiment to calculate the specific heat capacity of water when the resistance, time and electric current of water are given.
Why : To calculate the specific heat capacity of water
Material : Water, ceramic cup, thermometer, ammeter, resistor, voltmeter, weighing scales, Nicrome wire and a stop watch.
How : Fill the ceramic cup with water and measure its mass using the weighing scale. Then cover the ceramic cup with aluminium foil to avoid loss of heat. Arrange the resistor, ammeter and voltmeter properly using a nicrome wire to make a complete circuit. Immerse some part of the nicrome wire in the ceramic cup and also immerse the thermometer in the ceramic cup to observe changes in temperature. Once you have set up the apparatus, start the flow of current and take down readings at equal intervals of time. Note the mass of water at different temperatures.
3. What – A Project On The Effect Of Bases and Acids On Bacterial Growth
Why : To determine the effect of bases and acids on bacterial growth.
Materials : Pure samples of Miroccus luteus and Serratia marcesceus, 7 blood agar plates, 6 paper discs, acids and bases
How : Inoculate 7 blood agar plates with the two different types of bacteria. Then create a 1%, 5% and 10% concentrated solution of both the acid and the base. Apply this to the 6 paper discs and place them on the inoculated plates. Later, incubate these blood agar plates and measure the zone of inhibition around each paper disc. The strongest acid and the strongest base should inhibit the bacterial growth more than the weaker concentrations of acids and bases.
4. What – A Project To Know The Effects Of Temperature On Magnetic Strength
Why : To check if a change in temperature affects the strength of a magnet
Material : Ten magnets of equal size and weight, lucite tongs and a plastic bowl filled with standard size paper clips
How : Test the ten magnets under different temperatures like boiling, room temperature, frozen and using dry ice. Hold these magnets using the lucite tongs so that your body temperature does not affect the temperature of the magnets and lower these into the bowl of paperclips. Do multiple trials and after each trial count how many clips get attracted by the magnet. Analyze the result from multiple trials and conclude if the temperature affects the strength of magnet.
5. What – Electricity From Fruits
Why : To find out if the electricity produced from a fruit for an hour can charge a mobile phone battery
Materials : Fruits (apples, lemons, bananas), voltmeter, galvanometer, Zinc nails and Copper nails.
How : Cut all the fruits into small pieces and insert Copper and Zinc nails into each fruit and attach the alligator clips of the galvanometer to them. Then measure the amps and volts in each fruit and also repeat the same with a voltmeter. After collecting the data check if the energy produced by a fruit for an hour can be used to charge a mobile phone.
6. What – To Make A Telescope
Why : To understand the concept of light and lenses.
Material : Two lenses with different focal lengths (double convex lenses 150 mm and 500 mm recommended), paper towel roll, a piece of card-stock and a tape.
How : Roll up the sheet of card-stock to form a cylindrical tube, with the diameter equal to the diameter of the lens and with the shortest focal length. Tape the edges of the eyepiece lens to one end of the tube. Then tape edges of the second lens to the paper towel tube. Insert the empty end of the paper tube into the cardboard tube. Your Telescope is ready. To focus an object, you have to slide the tubes in and out. Using a longer tube may help minimize the trouble with focusing.
Have you utilized any of the above mentioned project activities for your 11th & 12th class Science students? Did your students find these activities interesting? Please give your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below!