This week, to celebrate the beginning of November, the Sisters at Reavis learned about the components of a leaf, and how leaves change color in the fall. First, we all answered the question: What makes a human? If you had to describe a human to an alien, how would you do it? The girls had interesting answers, ranging from “humans eat” to “humans speak to each other” to “humans have fun!” Then, we turned our attention to our next question: what makes a leaf? We learned about pigments, and how chlorophyll (which is necessary for photosynthesis) makes the leaves green. In the fall, chlorophyll wears off, and the other pigments in a leaf are exposed, making the leaves look red or yellow.
To investigate this phenomenon, each Sister took a leaf of a different color, poured nail polish remover on it, and used a coffee filter to absorb the pigment from the leaf–this technique is called chromatography. The girls had a lot of fun, and learned something neat about pigments and leaves, too!