Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Learning From One Another

On our first day of school in September, one of our oldest students asked if she could do an experiement for her classmates.  She said it would involve water.  I replied that it would be a wonderful idea as long as we had something, such as a bowl, to capture any water that may leak.   To my delight, E. showed up on the second day of school with all the things she needed to perform her experiment~ a test tube, skewer and a large bowl.

Here is her experiment.

E. began by filling her test tube with water.

She then placed her hand over the opening of the test tube...

and turned it upside down.

She removed her hand.  Much to everyone's surprise, the water did not fall out of the test tube!

When E. pierced the surface of the water in the upside down test tube with the skewer, the water spilled out.


Why did this happen?  The weight of the water was less than the air pressure inside the test tube creating a vacuum.  This enables the water to remain in the tube even when inverted.  Her classmates were suitably impressed!
Presentations like E.'s are not isolated incidents in authentic Montessori classrooms.  It is always such a treat to witness the enthusiasm of the presenter and the rapt attention of her fellow classmates.  One of the beautiful aspects of the Montessori classroom is that people of all ages are learning and working together.  Everyone is a respected member of the group.  Children feel safe and secure in this environment and enjoy sharing their knowledge with one another.  E.'s smile in the last picture shows us that when the children are given the opportunity to share their knowledge with others, a sense of joy ensues.