Science in Mind.

August 02, 2021

8.2.2021 Soda Bottle Blast Off Experiment

Science comes in many forms, and today we get to see an experiment that Room 5 did recently. 4 bottles of soda were used,
Diet Coke, specifically. Into each of the bottle, different numbers of Mento was added. The bottles had different colored lids so they could tell which traveled farther from the chemical reaction. Watch and see!


7.13.2021 Touch, Smell, Sight – Senses at work together.

Although there are some that say there are up to 33 senses, not just 5 or even 7, here at Crossroads we tend to focus on the five basic senses that our youngsters can comprehend – and that are part of the NYS curriculum: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

Students learn about these senses, and to relate them to their related body parts. For instance, we see with our eyes, we smell with our nose and so on.

Sensory activities for young learners can incorporate more than one sense.

Case in point, a recent shaving cream activity in Room 2 allowed children to experiment with how the substance feels, looks and smells. Soft and mushy. White and puffy. Clean and woodsy.

Children can be asked, “how does it feel?” and think about this concept. Being asked to describe what they see will elicit thinking and then language as they explain what they see. The request to put into words the smell of something brings forth imagining past smells for comparison. Etcetera.

Sometimes teachers and therapists have students write in the shaving cream, targeting handwriting skills. Other times skills are targeted for spelling words, math facts, or fine motor. There are many benefits of this type of play, in other words.

Here we can enjoy pictures shared by Room 2 – it’s clear that they enjoyed this activity very much.

Have science activities that work well for children? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments! 

5.11.2021 Benders Butterfly Science Garden

Be sure to check out what’s happening with this grant-funded project!


Bender’s Butterfly Science Garden

5.1.2021 Research Projects

After familiarizing themselves about a variety of under-water creatures, students in Room 11 were able to select one of the animals they wished to learn a lot about. Each student did research on their animal and created a poster to showcase his work, displaying facts and drawings to inform viewers about the animals.

Here are some of the finished products.

4.2.2021 Sensory Bins

Learning about the senses as part of the NYS Science curriculum, is something that children typically love, because there are so many hands-on ways to engage. When it comes to the sense of touch, what better way to help children explore this sense than through sensory bins, which can be created to include a variety of textures. See what the students in Room 14 recently did; these Easter bins were created by Ms. Melissa, TA.

Visit our Pinterest page for more ideas for Sensory Science! 

3.3.21 States of Matter

When we start to teach young children about states of matter it is always in simple ways. Concrete, hands-on ways of learning are best. That’s why making and playing with oobleck is so cool. You can talk about solid when it is in its hardened state, and liquid when you try to pick it up. For kids as young as these learners in Room 2 (18 months) gas and plasma states are a bit too advanced.

The sensory aspect of oobleck is another realm of science that teachers here embrace, particularly because sensory challenges arise with our students so often. Giving children opportunities to experiment with different sensory mediums can help to foster desensitization and decreased difficulties.

Here’s a recent oobleck activity with E and R from Room 2. You’ll love the facial expressions! We do!

CLICK HERE for a Wikipedia explanation of States of Matter.



1.29.2021 Welcome to Room 14’s Arctic Animal Museum!

The students in Room 14 have been working hard on their arctic animal research. Studying the animal’s habits, offspring, food, and sleep patterns gave them plenty of art projects, writing assignments, and practice with the process of inquiry. Awesome job, Room 14!

7.29.2020 The art and science of the Roller Coaster!

There’s a lot of science involved in the way a roller coaster works. Types of energy, technology, waves, design, force, and more. It’s a great summer theme for a classroom full of boys who love amusement parks, and this teacher, Mrs. Lindsay, knows it.

The art works here are work products from their theme. The students each designed their own roller coaster and put himself on it, pictorially. They are also building carousel swings, pictured on the window sills. And last but not least, they made some cotton candy with classroom-made puffy paint, because every trip to the amusement park ends in one of those, right?

4.24.2020 A (virtual) field trip to The Catskill Animal Sanctuary 

Last week, our school age classes were able to take a field trip to Catskill Animal Sanctuary. It was attended through Zoom, and learners saw the amazing and beautiful animals that have been rescued and are being cared for by the sanctuary. Giddy goats, portly pigs, shaggy sheep and other rescued farm animals were enjoyed by the children, parents and staff members in attendance.

From the sanctuary’s website:

“Over the years, we’ve rescued thousands of animals. Hundreds currently call the Sanctuary ‘home.’ “

Mission: Catskill Animal Sanctuary rescues farmed animals, ignites social change to end their exploitation, and champions vegan living.

Did you attend? What did you see? What did you learn? What was the best part? Leave a comment below.

4.10.2020 In time for Easter weekend!

Thanks to Mrs. Rebecca for finding this great science activity which comes from Lessons for Little Ones, by Tina O’Block. She has used this activity in the classroom, and felt it would be a great one to share with our young learners who are learning at home.

Jelly bean science activities 

4.1.2020 Walking Rainbow Experiment and More for Spring!

Since we’re still all working and learning at home due to COVID-19, teachers and therapists are working with parents and students from a distance, to provide resources and support. We are so very proud of our students and families for all their hard work. We know this is such a challenging thing to take on. Please let us know if we can help in any way.

In the meantime, many of the resources being sent home are also being shared for the purposes of making them available to other families, those from Crossroads and those from other parts of our community. We hope you can benefit from the hard work the teachers and therapists are putting in.

Today we have a message to share from Mrs. Rebecca, Room 5’s Early Childhood Teacher, with some resources for her spring science-themed activities.

Hi Everyone,

Hope this sunny day is making you smile! Today I have a couple of spring worksheets and a science experiment for you to try. The science experiment is one of my favorites and is called a walking rainbow. There is a worksheet to help you talk about what’s happening. Here’s the website:

Flower Garden Shapes (2)        rainbow walking water experiment             Spring Patterns Cut-and-Paste (1)

There’s overlap of skills to be addressed, too. You’ll be able to target a plethora of important skills while working on these awesome activities! Thanks Mrs. Rebecca! Your hard work and sharing are greatly appreciated.

10.24.19  Learning about the senses of the human body is one of our favorite components of science. Lessons about our senses and the body parts that use them are super interesting to children and offer a great many activities and experiments to build comprehension.


Sensory play can include activities for any of the senses, whether smell, sight, taste, hearing, or touch. Activities can have added benefits of social interaction opportunities and experiential learning, too.

This sensory play activity from Room 4 is one that is a favorite for Crossroads kids from youngest to eldest: shaving cream play. Today we have some terrific pictures to share, thanks to the classroom team.

Shaving cream play can help children understand their sense of touch in a manner that they are frequently receptive to. Shaving cream is soft and smooth, smells nice and encourages an endless number of movements for the little fingers playing with it. Children sensitive to different sensations will benefit from experimenting, as well.

Activities to try can include squishing shaving cream, spreading it, molding it or finding things buried in it. Making lines – straight, crooked, curves, squiggles – supports early handwriting development, as does writing letters, numbers and words. Working together in groups, large or small, fosters social skills and fun, giving kids a chance to get downright silly together. Using words to describe the feelings of the shaving cream on their hands – wet, fluffy, soft… or to name the letters or numbers, reinforces and fosters the use of language to communicate and builds vocabulary.

 So a science activity becomes a creative time, a social time, a handwriting time, a math or literacy time!

2.7.19  Room 11’s most recent Science experiment taught students about chemical reactions and dissolving.

You know what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar, right?
If you’ve done the activity once it’s memorable. You know that the chemical reaction between the two ingredients will lead to the cup running over.

Kids find this extremely awesome.
Science is needed in any classroom and for this group it seems especially important. They’ve been working really hard this year on group cooperation skills, on self-control and self-management, and these types of experiments require those skills. For the class to be conducting an experiment like this shows how much progress they’ve made this year.

The coolness factor of this experiment was boosted even further by adding food coloring. Not only are the colors cheery, but squeezing the tiny containers, the students got to work on their fine motor skills and controlling the number of drops they let out.  Remember how hard that was when YOU were 8 or 9?


Next, by pouring in the vinegar, the frothy swell of the combination was compelling. All of the students were clearly engaged.

Do you remember what it felt like when an experience like this was something new? When you didn’t already know what would happen? Or, even if you did know, maybe you’d done it before, but how cool it was to see it again. Honestly, most of the teachers still get excited when the chemical reaction occurs!



Isn’t it great that they could have this experience? To conduct an experiment, create a chemical reaction, feel the WOW of it? It’s REALLY great!


Rainbow volcanoes. Room 11. February, 2019

Related articles: .

Science and Art Meet Again

Jessica and Stewart Friesen | Race for Autism AwarenessBecome a Monthly Donor