Thursday, January 15, 2015

6th Grade Science Fair

Cadence has been working on her 6th grade science fair project for almost 4 months now.  She knew she wanted to do something with iron in cereal, but wasn't sure exactly what she wanted to do.  She went through several different ideas before she came up with one that she liked, was interested in, & that actually worked really well for a science project.

She named her project:
What an "Iron"ic Breakfast!

She wanted to prove that the iron content in cereals differ from what is what is written on the nutrition labels.  I didn't know how she was going to do this, but that's what experimentation is for right?

She spent a good month experimenting with different ways of pulling iron out of cereal.  It wasn't until we got an industrial strength magnet that the experiment started to really come together.  (That magnet was SO powerful that it couldn't be shipped by plane because it would mess up the instruments!  It's insane!!!!)  Once we got the magnet, she was able to pull ALL the iron straight out of the cereals.  Can you believe there are actual black iron chunks in the cereal we eat?  I had no idea!

Once the experiment started coming together, she was able to measure the levels of iron per serving of cereal.  Sure enough, Cheerios trumped the other 4 cereals even though it's nutritional label said it only had 45% of the daily value of iron.

She put her poster together with all her information, pictures, examples, & her abstract & entered it into the science fair.  I went to the school & visited her.  She's such a doll.  I love my kids so much.






Two days later she came home from school with a blue ribbon around her neck & a certificate in her hand.  My baby girl took 1st place!!!!  I am SO proud of her & all her hard work.



I spent the next two days frantically filling out paperwork while Cadence wrote a 6 page research essay with bibliography on her project so that she could enter the county science fair tonight & apply to enter the regional science fair in March.  There were some crazy late nights (11:30pm is LATE), but she got it done & I am beyond proud of all that she has accomplished.

I love you Cadence!!!

11 comments:

  1. What a great project! How did your daughter measure the iron after she extracted it? Did she weigh it?

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    1. She actually did a simple surface area measurement. (Probably not the most accurate measurement, but for 6th grade it worked.) She used the same magnet to extract the iron from each cereal & spread the iron around the surface area of the magnet. She took pictures of how much surface area the iron covered & repeated the process about 5 times with each cereal to make sure she had as accurate measurement as she could get. I'm sure there are better ways of doing it, but she did it all on her own & in her own little 6th grader mind it made sense to her. :-) It was a really fun project for her.

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  2. How did she get the iron off teh magnet before she tested the next cereal?

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    1. We'd wipe it off the best we could with a wet paper towel. We were able to get 99% of it off that way. Let your magnet dry completely & then test the next one.

      Make sure you get an industrial sized magnet or the experiment won't work. You can order them from amazon but they take about a week to get to you because they can't be shipped by plane. :-) But it's worth it for a super powerful magnet. :-)

      Have fun.

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  3. Which magnet did you use? There's some for $6 and some for twice that, and more. I just want to be sure we get one that actually works to try this. Thanks!

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    1. This is similar to the one we bought. It's SUPER powerful so keep it away from any electronics (it will wipe them clean) & try not to get it attached to the fridge or other metal objects because it's HARD to get off. ;-) https://www.amazon.com/CMS-Magnetics-Strong-Neodymium-Magnet/dp/B000UU6W3Y/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1486647677&sr=8-7&keywords=strong+bar+magnet

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  5. Hi - How did she figure out the percentages of iron that was in the cereal? After measuring the surface area, how did she translate it to a percentage? Thanks!

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    1. You know, I honestly don't remember. I'm so sorry. I just asked her & she said it was so long ago she doesn't remember exactly either. I know that she based everything off of what the box said to begin with (so say Cheerios said it had 4 grams of iron per 1 cup of cereal & Captain Crunch said it had 10 grams of iron per 1 cup of cereal) & then she compared how much iron she could pull out & compared that to what the box said? (It worked out in her 6th grade brain). ha ha ha. Sorry I can't be more help here.

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    2. Ok, thanks for responding! ;0) It's a fun project.

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