To wrap up the school year, the teachers made videos showing some of the fun activities we do in class that we thought you could also do at home. Enjoy!


Mr. Bowman

Surface tension

Changing states of matter


Ms. Brunson

Penny Boat lab


Mr. Drew

Chemical and physical changes


Ms. Schmitt

 Kitchen chemistry

Density and polar molecules





Optional Enrichment:

Here are a few websites you can check out for fun labs and virtual field trips!

National Geographic Virtual Field Trips

At Home Science Labs

This page is being written for my students and their parents. The goal is to make it a valuable teaching tool that helps my students learn independently while also including activities that engage the entire family. Education uses a lot of language and acronyms the general public doesn't always understand. To make this page useful and something that can be used independently by a sixth grader, I'm eliminating all language that could be confusing and writing it just for my kids and their families. 

Welcome back to science!

Here's what we've covered up to March 12:

-Scientific Inquiry (SOL 6.1 a-j), Astronomy (SOL 6.6 a, 6.8 a-i), and most of Weather (SOL 6.3 b-d, 6.5 b-d, 6.6 b-f). These are really big units.

Here's what we haven't covered:

- The rest of weather  (SOL 6.3), water ecology and watersheds (SOL 6.7), water chemistry (SOL 6.5 a), water quality and water borne diseases (SOL 6.5 e-f), chemistry (SOL 6.4 a-g) and energy (SOL 6.2 a-e and 6.9 a-d). These are small units.

If you want to review anything we've already covered, please check out these textbook pages:

Scientific Inquiry: pages 1 - 52
Astronomy: pages 172 - 181, 547 - 740
Weather: pages 95 - 149, 200 - 210, 219 - 330

So, how are we going to do this?

Let's just pick up where we left off.

Ok, now what?

It's only been two weeks since you were in class but it's been decades since your parents were in school. Instead of expecting them to know how to home school you, I want you to home school them! Each lesson is designed for you to learn the material and then teach it to your parents. They even have to do the same homework you do!


Guess what! You're the boss! But remember, teachers are really smart so you have to make sure you've learned the material before you teach it to your parents. 

March 23

Lesson: Let's start off by reviewing clouds. Remember, the types of clouds we learned about are cirrus, cumulus, and stratus. (Don't forget to include nimbostratus and cumulonimbus, the only two that produce precipitation.) Do you remember the different types of precipitation and which precipitation we can expect from them? Once you've reviewed the info, it's time to teach your parents! Read pages 224-227 and 234-243. Answer the questions at the end of the lesson and then check out these videos:

Cloud Types and Identification
Four Main Types of Clouds
The Science of Clouds

Activity: Show your parents a picture of each type of cloud and explain the characteristics of each. What makes each cloud special? Now go outside every day this week and take a picture of the clouds you see. Write the name of each cloud on the picture using your photo app. Make a photo journal of what you see for a week and ask your parents to do the same.

Every day compare what you've written on your picture to what your parents have written to see if they've correctly identified the clouds. Be patient with them. They haven't been to school in years! If they drive you nuts, don't send them to their room. They'll never come out.

March 30

Lesson: It's time to learn about thunderstorms and lightning! For this lesson, I made a video that features my voice and Meg the Wonder Gerbil. Watch my video and the other videos I've listed and then read these pages in your book: 264-265.

Ms. Schmitt's video 
Cold Fronts and Severe Weather
Thunderstorms 101
What Causes a Thunderstorm?
Lightning Safety Tips
The Worst Places to Be in a Lightning Storm

Activity: For our activity, let's work on our Survival Guides. If you left yours at school, no worries. Just make a new one using whatever paper supplies you have around the house. If you want to add sections for frostbite, heat stroke, and dehydration, go right ahead but it's optional.

Make a section about lightning and remember that each person is making the guide for themselves, so answers will vary. Make a list of five SMART things to do in a lightning storm and five DUMB things you want to remind yourself never to do! Add graphics or pictures to help you remember how to stay safe. Make sure your parents put their name on their paper or you might need to make a No Name Box! 
If your parents are misbehaving, call your grandparents to let them know what shenanigans they've been up to or give them lunch detention!  

If you want to share your smart and dumb ideas or let me know what it's like being your parent's science teacher, just send me an email! 

March 31

Today's lesson is all about tornadoes. I'll talk about what conditions cause them to form and how to stay safe. Please watch these videos and read these pages in your book: 268 - 274.

Ms. Schmitt's video lesson

What is a tornado?

Tornadoes 101

Tornado simulation

Tornado safety tips

Get Weather Ready!

Activity: Grab your Survival Guide because it's time to add a section for tornadoes! But first, you need to have a family meeting to create a family safety plan in case of a tornado as well as a plan for what you're going to do if you're home alone during a tornado.

Here's what you need to add to your Survival Guide:

- Your geographic location (You live in western Prince William County)

- The difference between a watch and a warning

- Your family safety plan

- Your personal safety plan

Then add five SMART things to do during a tornado along with five DUMB things you want to remind yourself never to do!

Since you're the teacher, feel free to give your parents a pop quiz to see how much they've learned. But make sure you know the answers to the quiz first!

April 1 

I know some of you are still working on the lessons from Monday and Tuesday so let's use today to get all caught up and that's no joke! See ya tomorrow!

Enrichment: What caused our temps to drop and what type of pressure system brought the rain? What type of frontal system is pushing warm air into our region?

April 2 and 3

Lesson: Today we're learning about hurricanes. Please listen to my video lesson and then check out the links below. They're awesome!

Ms. Schmitt's video lesson

 (Note - I accidentally said we know the ocean is cold by August. I misspoke! The ocean is quite warm in August but we all know how cold it is in May and June. Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends Nov 30.)

2020 Hurricane Names

How Do Hurricanes Form?

Hurricane Categories

The Impact of a Storm Surge 1

The Impact of a Storm Surge 2

Hurricane Katrina's Storm Surge

Hurricane Hunters

Hurricane Hunters 3D Animation

Hurricane Safety Tips 

Hurricanes versus Typhoons and How to Stay Safe

Activity: First, you need to finish your Survival Guide by making a section about hurricanes. Second, write a creative story about what it would be like to be a Hurricane Hunter. Remember, this is a real job! If you'd like to send me a copy of your story so I can read it , that would be awesome!

Review and catch up: Did you have a family meeting to create a tornado safety plan? You might not always live in Bristow and you need to know how to stay safe! Check out this amazing video!

A Tornado Hits the Weather Channel

 I grew up in southern and northern California and moved to Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, upstate New York near the Canadian border, and then Prince William and Fauquier counties in Virginia.  Just because northern Virginia doesn't get extreme weather doesn't mean you don't need to know how to keep yourself safe.  

April 14-June 1


Planning a Virtual Vacation

For this assignment, you’re going to plan a vacation and describe the weather in your location of choice.


1)       Your vacation location can be anywhere!  You’ll start your vacation on Sunday afternoon and end it when you return on Saturday.

2)      You must go to a real location. Go online and find real activities you can do on your vacation each day. Because you’ll be gone for a week, you must have at least five activities.  Going shopping for souvenirs or to the movies doesn’t count.  Going shopping only counts if it’s an experience unique to the culture of the place you’re visiting, such as visiting the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. You need to pick activities you can’t do at home. Be sure to describe each activity.

3)      Describe how you will arrive at your location and where you will stay. You will be going on this trip as a sixth grader with your family.

4)      Accurately describe the weather in your location each day. Just saying it “was nice outside” doesn’t count. You must have at least two types of precipitation. You need to identify and describe the clouds that created the precipitation.

5)      You will also need to accurately describe the high and low temperature of where you’ll be visiting. Describe the geographic features that helped create the temperatures.

6)      Add one type of extreme weather that could occur in that region and describe the steps you took to stay safe. Make sure the extreme weather you chose actually occurs in the area you’ll be visiting. 

7)      You do not have a budget for this trip.

8)      You can create this as a journal entry or as a Power Point presentation.

9)      Be neat, scientifically accurate, and creative! You need to be descriptive and provide plenty of information.


April 14 - 20          Pick your vacation spot, method of travel, and where you're going to stay. Start researching fun activities to do with your family.
April 21 - 27          Planning day 1 - Begin working on activity 1 and research what type of weather to expect in your location. 

April 28 - May 4   Planning day 2 - Begin working on activity 2 and describe the weather you'll have for both days that you'll be enjoying activities 1 and 2.

May 5 - 11             Planning day 3 - Begin working on activity 3 and describe the weather you'll experience.

May 12 - 18          Planning day 4 - Begin working on activity 4 and describe the weather you'll experience. Have you added in your severe weather yet and the steps you took to stay safe?

May 19 - 26           Planning day 5 - Begin working on activity 5 and describe the weather you'll experience. Make sure you've added in your severe weather and the steps you took to stay safe.

May 26 - June 1     Finish your project and send it to me via email as a Word document or power point. If you have a better method of delivery and a creative platform or format you'd like to use,  just let me know!

When you describe the weather, make sure you tell me how it was created: high or low pressure systems and cold, warm, or stationary fronts.