Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What's Going on in the Lab? Newton's Laws of Motion!

We recently had a theme week with each grade level! Each explored a Law of Motion after reviewing all three. It was a fabulous week of STEM challenges and learning all about Newton (not related to Cam!)
So, this is what we have been up to in our science class! Take a look!


STEM Challenges all about Newton's Laws of motion! Students design and build devices to prove a law of motion! Three fun challenges!


THIRD GRADE
The littles tackled the Second Law of Motion.
Specifically, they explored using a car on a ramp! Would changing the angle of the ramp produce greater force on the car? 
Newton also says that more weight produces a need for more force! Would this hold true for our little cars if we placed something heavy inside them- maybe, like an egg?
STEM Challenge: Students build a car and experiment with changing the angle of a ramp and then add weight to the car! The weight just happens to be an egg!
The biggest obstacle with this challenge was in building the car! The car body itself was fairly simple! It was attaching the axle and wheels that created a problem to solve! Great fun!
STEM Challenge: Attaching wheels to a car presents some frustrations until finally it works! Proving Newton's 2nd Law of Motion!
The wheels would sometimes roll and then malfunction. We learned that cutting the wheels out of the cardboard required a steady hand and those wheels better be round!
STEM Challenge: Students build a car and experiment with changing the angle of a ramp and then add weight to the car! The weight just happens to be an egg!
Finally, the cars were tested on the ramps. Some rolled down and some slid down. A few cars overturned and spilled the egg onto the floor! We practiced this with a plastic egg,but in our final demonstrations we used REAL ones! Only one cracked!
STEM Challenge: Students build a car and experiment with changing the angle of a ramp and then add weight to the car! The weight just happens to be an egg!


FOURTH GRADE:
My 4th graders tackled the third law of motion! For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This one also produced some cheering and groaning when balloons popped or fizzled instead of projecting the balloon cars!
STEM Challenge: Prove Newton's 3rd Law of Motion with bottle cars! Let the races begin!
Of course, this one also involved making wheels and attaching the axles to the bottle car body. The biggest problem we ran into with this one is that the wheels were too small to be placed in the center of the car body. The kids learned the hard way to place the axle low on the body of the car!
STEM Challenge: Prove Newton's 3rd Law of Motion with bottle cars! Let the races begin!
Mt favorite car was one that the team wanted to be smaller. So, we cut the water bottle into three pieces. They joined the top and bottom for a mini-car! Unfortunately, it didn't roll very well when the weight of the balloon was added to it! It was cute, though!
STEM Challenge: Prove Newton's 3rd Law of Motion with bottle cars! Let the races begin!
The cars were then raced on a foam track I built. We let every group demonstrate and then we set up side by side tracks and raced. It was quite noisy!
STEM Challenge: Prove Newton's 3rd Law of Motion with bottle cars! Let the races begin!


FIFTH GRADE:
My fifth graders were thrilled about this challenge. In fact, when I brought in a purchased Newton's Cradle they flocked around it excitedly. They were ready to start building one right then and there!
STEM Challenge: Prove Newton's 3rd Law of Motion by building a Newton's Cradle. Only a few supplies and start clacking away!
Lots of big problems with this one!
First, you had to build a frame.
I had lots of ideas for this, but almost every group went with a craft stick frame which was hot-glued together!
Yep, kids and glue guns.... I amaze myself with this kind of bravery, but y'all they did fine!
STEM Challenge: Prove Newton's 3rd Law of Motion by building a Newton's Cradle. Only a few supplies and start clacking away!
I have strict rules about glue guns and constantly monitor them and they really do use them safely and correctly. 
The second big problem was attaching the marbles to the string, but we solved this with glue. Last problem was attaching the strings to the frame and we did this by tying the strings or gluing them on place.
Some finished models are below. Yes, they did work pretty well!
STEM Challenge: Prove Newton's 3rd Law of Motion by building a Newton's Cradle. Only a few supplies and start clacking away!

Finally, I made a little video of these challenges so you could see the action of each. Here ya go:

So, what have you been up to in your Science class?
Coming soon:

Science Bulletin Board
Solar Ovens
Earthquake Buildings
Pipelines


1 comment :

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the video! I am going to learn how to make the car which is propelled by the balloon... TOO COOL!!!!! When we studied Newton's Laws I had my kids make inertia cars. Their cars had to have sails so they were a bit like a parasail car. We used lifesaver mints for wheels. Needless to say when we were finished I believe the tires disappeared?!?!?! Thanks for all the great ideas that you share!

    Angela

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