@Mason  Homeschoolin
@Mason Homeschooling Chemistry with Jane Burke
Mason Library

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 1:30-3pm

Wednesdays Feb  26, Mar 4, 11 1:30-3:00 (5 sessions), Chemistry ages 8-14. Tuition $35
RESCHEDULED LAST TWO SESSIONS DUE TO COVID19: June 3 & 10 (Wednesdays same time)

Young Chemists

In this series children will have the experience of being a chemist by doing experiments using the eight science and engineering practices as laid out in the Massachusetts state standards. They will keep a lab notebook. The experiments align with the physical science standards for several grade levels. Older children will use chemical symbols and learn to read the periodic table to help predict. Younger children will focus more on the practices of measuring and trying to prove their claims with evidence.

Session 1 -Properties of Materials –Using gram scales, centimeter rulers, water bath, pipettes, hot plates, experiment with a variety of materials to measure their properties.

Session 2 – Solids and Liquids – How cold can water be? - Using beakers, thermometers, ice, gram scales collect data to prove how cold water can be.

Session 3 – Physical Change and Chemical Changes – How can you tell if mixing two substances leads to a chemical or a physical change? Can you prove if something is dissolving or reacting.

Session 4 – Crystallization – How can you grow a crystal? Choosing from a number of salts, children will use what they have learned about dissolving to make a supersaturated solution. They will devise a way to set up for crystal growing.

Session 5 – Acids and Bases – Children will learn how to identify acids and bases using indicator solutions including the concept of a strong acid and a strong base. They will then try to determine whether common liquids are acids or bases. Note that younger children will not use any toxic solutions. Older children will be taught the safety of using such things as ammonia.


Jane Burke, founding director of Flying Cloud Institute, has been a STEAM educator for 48 years. She discovered her fascination with science at Brandeis where she majored in chemistry, followed by attending Harvard to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching science and a job teaching science to middle schools students in the public schools in Newton MA and Pasadena CA.  While living in London in her late twenties, she studied ceramics at the Stanhope Institute and Ridge Pottery in Somerset. In Melbourne Australia she taught chemistry and ceramics. When she returned to the USA in1977 settled in the Berkshires and began to build a career as production potter but was drawn back into education in 1984 when she founded the non-profit Flying Cloud Institute to provide science and arts experiences for local children. She has been an advocate for providing diverse creative opportunities for children grades K through 12 both within their school day and in out of school time. She has received awards from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and received the Berkshire Award from the Berkshire Museum for outstanding work in education.  In her “retirement” she is delighted to continue to participate in science education in the region through the Berkshire STEM Pipeline Steering Team, providing teacher professional development, classroom residencies in schools, and out school workshops.  She has also reopened Flying Cloud Pottery and is teaching ceramics to children and adults as well as making her own work for local gallery shows. 

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