Monday, January 24, 2011

Bloody Monday

I love Science Fundays. But I always ALWAYS feel so unproductive, inefficient, incomplete afterwards.I always have SO MUCH I want to do, teach, experience and it seems we never ever have the time to do all the great things or go as in depth as I want. I feel I have just never taught enough, I have let everyone (esp the moms) down, that it's not a good educational use of 2 hours. I need a whole DAY!! maybe two!

Yet, moms still bring their kids, my kids love it, and there seems to be some learning I guess.

Anyway- today's Forensic Science Theme was blood. (we learned a bit about blood, but didn't get into the forensic as much as I wanted)

LAB #1
Make Fake blood

We started with Corn Syrup and red food coloring.

Then we talked about different things to add to change the consistency and transparency to make it look real.

I used info/ingredients ideas from THIS FAKE BLOOD website. Check it out! Make Your own fake blood!! It's GREAT!!

Each boy's blood was a little different. While making it, they'd ask "is this right? Does it look like it's supposed to?" I told them, this is their blood and they need to add the different ingredient to make it how THEY like it and how they think blood looks. (so Connor asked if he can make his green like alien blood)

After that we cleaned up-- a bit. Then talked about some terms. I love scientific words. I love how you can tell what a words means even if you don't know it, if you know what the different root words that make it mean.

For those playing along at home:
1. hematology: from the Greek αἷμα haima "blood" and 'ology'= The Study Of
2. Cytology: rom Greek κύτος, kytos, "a hollow container", and 'ology'= The Study Of
3. Leukocytes: "leuco-" being Greek for white, CYTES- from cyto- which we just learned.
- also Leukemia.
4. Erythroctyes: from Greek erythros for "red" and the CYTES
5. Blood plasma: The liquid part of the blood that carries the cells. *Gavin said "if we were in a river, we'd represent the blood cells and the river that carried us would be like the plasma
6. Blood Platelets: the substance in the blood cells that cause it to clot.
-- hemaphilia- we already knew that the 'philia' means 'love'. 'hema' we learned today. (blood). People with this disorder do not have enough clotting ability and bleed/briuse too much/easily, with out forming scabs, etc
7. Phlebotomy: PHLEB from the greek meaning vein. 'tomy' from the greek tomia- "to cut'. It was a term for BLOOD LETTING- which we discussed.
-- related word ANATOMY. from Gk. anatomia, from anatome "dissection," from ana- "up" & Tomia- Cutting Up.
8. Agglutinate: from the greek gluten,meaning 'glue', glutenate-meaning 'to glue'. It is therm used for the clumping of the red blood cells in our Blood Typing Test
--related words GLUTEN (they recognized that word from Gluten Free Foods they see at Trader Joe's,
** be careful, if calling someone 'glutenous' because they have nature of glue/behave like glue, do not accidentally tell they are gluttonous (tendency to overeat way too much)

After that we washed our hands and got out the Eldoncards for blood typing.

We talked a bit about how to dispose of our needles (anything with blood). I have a COOL RED BIO-HAZARD/Sharps container for just this purpose!!!
(what does it say about me that I am giddy with excitement to have my very own red plastic bio-hazard material disposal container??)

We read the instructions (outloud and on their own). 3 of us went through with pricking ourselves. (2 decided to wait until they accidentally get cut and then will get their cards out.)

we talked a bit about the the different blood types and the antigens that make the. Got out magnifying glasses to get a better look at the agglutinated blood.

Then we went outside with knives and our blood to try to make blood drips from a knife (walking) at different heights. to compare shape/angle, etc. but with the wind and the fact that our fake blood was a bit too thick it wasn;t working. So I gave up.

I changed to a different lab I had. Comparing blood drops made on different surfaces.
I had the following surfaces:
  1. Carpet Square (I used an old bath rug- the ones you have in front of the tub to step on after a bath/shower)
  2. ceramic tile
  3. glass (from a picture fame we never used yet)
  4. cardboard
  5. cloth/fabric
  6. sponge
When dropped onto a non-porous surface a blood drop remains round with smooth edges.
When dropped on a porous surface the drop will have jagged edges. the more pourous, the more spear-out & jagged.

They dropped blood onto the different surfaces and then drew pictures of what it looked like. (they used the magnifying glass for this one, too).

(below) on glass. non-porous. nice round & smooth-->

(below) Cardboard- see the edges started to break & jag from the porousness of the cardboard?

(below)- and, of course, a sponge is very porous- lots of spreading of the blood drop

I had 2 other labs and a few more things about blood to talk about. But we had to end it there as C&K had auditions to attend.

I did send home a worksheet/lab with Landon and my boys will do it tomorrow. I want to do the newspaper one again. I will have to do it inside I guess. [probably in the garage]


  1. This is amazing! What a cool lesson! Thanks for sharing this - I feel a little bit smarter reading those words. ;-) I want to do fun projects throughout school with our kids and this inspires me. :-)

  2. Wow! Excellent lesson! My granddaughter would love to study this, since her mom is studing to be an RN.
    Thank-you for sharing this..I am going to use this for reference for sure!

  3. I keep forgetting to come here and check for comments. Can I get them sent to my email?

  4. Sounds like a wonderful activity and lesson that was both fun and educational.