Friday, May 29, 2009

Friction & Gravity Science Activities

For science this past week we have been studying friction & gravity. We did some hands on activities in order to see the effects of both. First we took a board & set it on a slight incline & then we placed one of Noah's toy trucks at the top. Of course when we let it go it rolled down the board (GRAVITY). Then we placed an object in front of the truck at the top of the slant. You can use a block of wood...we used a paper hole cutter. When you let go of the truck it does not roll down because it is being held by the object. Why does the object not slide down the board? FRICTION...friction holds it in place.

We then loaded a large box with books & set it on the table. We then slid the box across the table. We could do it but the box was heavy & hard to do. Then we placed about 15 pencils side-by-side & placed the box on top of them. We then pushed the box across the table...the pencils of course rolled & it was very easy to move the box. The box by itself was hard to move because of the FRICTION that was created between the box & table. It was easier to move on top of the pencils because they had less FRICTION with the table.

We also discussed machines this week & how friction can cause an engine to wear out. So we talked about lubrication & how it helps. We rubbed our hands together to feel FRICTION, & then put some cooking oil on them & rubbed them again...the oil reduces the friction. We also discussed how you can remove a tight ring from your finger by reducing the friction. We all know you can do this by putting butter, etc. on the finger to help the ring slide. So explain to your kids that the finger does not shrink & the ring does not get bigger...the FRICTION is reduced & the ring is easier to move.

So do these simple activities if you are looking for a hands on activity dealing with Gravity & Friction. They are easy to do & put a visual concept of the properties in your child's mind.

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