March 3, 2017
Switching to the field of physics, we got the kids talking about Isaac Newton this week. We had three stations labeled “Gravity”, “Newton’s Laws” and “Momentum”. At the first station, children played with a make-shift pendulum (tennis ball on a string), launched stomp rockets, and tried juggling. At the second station, to demonstrate Newton’s First law, we pulled a piece of paper quickly from undisturbed stack of stationary Keva blocks and watched a stuffed toy continue moving on a trajectory although the skateboard underneath it was abruptly stopped. For Second Newton’s Law demonstration, we compared amount of force needed to push a heavy object versus a light object. And for Newton’s Third Law example, we inflated a balloon, taped it to a straw on a string, and released the balloon—as the air rushed out, the balloon was pushed forward along the string. At the hands-on “Momentum” station we watched a marble rotate in a salad bowl, a coin spin inside a balloon and water swirl in a cup. Moreover, students could learn about transfer of momentum while having a great time playing a game of Petanque (Bocce balls).
Vocabulary: Gravity, Newton’s Laws, Momentum, Force, Inertia, Vector