Written by Alyssa Burley.
On January 11th through 14th, 2016, Project Cornerstone took part in the Eye on Science week at Lindo Park School in Lakeside, CA.
Over 200 students from 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes participated in Project Cornerstone's lesson on construction aggregates (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone) used in building materials like concrete and asphalt products.
The students gained knowledge about how construction aggregates are used to build homes, roads, bridges, schools, etc. in the community, and where the materials are naturally found throughout the county.
Based on the lecture and observation, students developed a hypothesis for which type of sand (i.e., river or beach) they thought was best for making concrete and why. Then, in small groups the students used a sieve and scale to analyze the two sand samples. Looking at the data collected, the students determined river sand is best from making concrete because it will allow the hydration process to occur between the cement and water.
Students used their new found knowledge about construction aggregates to make their own small batches of concrete. Using the correct proportions of sand, gravel, cement and water, the students witnessed first hand the hydration process which transforms the liquid concrete mixture into a solid building material.
Throughout the week, students enjoyed the hands-on in-class activity. One 5th grade student said, "I love science, now," after completing the in-class activities. A 3rd grade student said, "this is awesome!" when asked how they liked the science activities. "Science is my favorite," a 4th grader said as they finished up making concrete.