Yesterday I told you a little bit about our science camp this year, Falling For Science. Our focus was on physical science. For my part, I led the lessons on Forces of Motion and Simple Machines. Both of my units fell on the first full day of camp, so I got it all out of the way early on!
First, I gave the kids some new vocabulary words (Force, Friction, Gravity, Speed, Acceleration, Velocity) to write in their notebooks.
I told them about Sir Isaac Newton, including a thoroughly accurate and entertaining dramatization of the “apple story”. My oldest made a convincing Newton.
We briefly went over Newton’s three laws and I passed out a pic of old Newt and his laws for each child to glue into their notebooks next to their new vocab words.
I used Newton’s Laws for Kids for my information and I can’t remember the source for Newton’s picture. Sorry.
Then we broke the kids into four groups of three. I found a really great lesson plan for forces of motion HERE. Each team had a wooden plank, some blocks, and a toy car for each team member. I had the kids use the blocks to play around with the incline of the wood, making a ramp, and figuring out the best height to get their toy cars to go the farthest. Each child had their own measuring tape as part of their Explorer Satchel kits this year. After sending their cars down, we marked with painters’ tape how far each car went, then the kids measured and recorded the distance in their notebooks. Then, following the lesson plan, we experimented with friction by adding things like sandpaper, wax paper and bubble wrap and repeating our ramp experiments. The wax paper was really cool. Some of those cars really took off! We also used metal washers to add weight to the cars and discussed gravity and how it effects acceleration. It was a really cool activity. The kids totally got into it and required very little help at all from us adults.
We talked just a little bit about centrifugal force and then had the kids each make their own piece of artwork using a cheap art spinner. The spinner cost less than $10 and came with everything we needed. It was awesome. So simple to use, super fun, and totally cool. Highly recommend.
After Forces of Motion, Suzi had a bunch of centers planned for the kids to do some more self-directed learning. The centers highlighted both Forces of Motion and Simple Machines, since we were set to talk about those later in the day. The kids stayed in their groups of three and moved from center to center.
She had a K’Nex Simple Machines set for them to build and play with
And then it was time for Simple Machines!
TO BE CONTINUED…
*Christie took most of these pictures since I was teaching. Thanks for sharing, Christie!