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Physics Activities for Upper Elementary & Middle School Classrooms PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Physics Activities for Upper Elementary & Middle School Classrooms. Dr. Laura Henriques [email protected] 985-4801. Materials list:. Materials you will borrow: Scissors Tape Washers String. In your bag of materials Index card with rubber band & paperclip Pencil with pin Balloons

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Physics Activities for Upper Elementary & Middle School Classrooms

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Physics activities for upper elementary middle school classrooms l.jpg

Physics Activities for Upper Elementary & Middle School Classrooms

  • Dr. Laura [email protected] 985-4801

Materials list:

Materials you will borrow:

  • Scissors

  • Tape

  • Washers

  • String

In your bag of materials

  • Index card with rubber band & paperclip

  • Pencil with pin

  • Balloons

  • Plastic plates

  • Marble

  • 2 straws (bendy & non-bendy)


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A force has both direction & magnitude.

Staple rubber band to index card.

Unfold a paperclip.

Hang it on the bottom of the rubber band.

Attach various weights to the bottom of the paperclip.

Note the resting position for each.

  • Forces are vectors. To completely describe a force you must state how big it is and the direction in which it is acting.

  • We can use simple force detectors to measure and/or detect forces.

1

2

3

Simple force detector or accelerometer. Plexiglass casing with colored water sandwiched between. Available commercially.


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Force Detectors

  • The shape of the water indicates the direction of the force.

  • The water has inertia and it remains at rest (or in motion) relative to the container allowing us to see the direction of the force.


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When an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the effect is the cumulative effect of all the forces.

  • Push on a block - does it move? Why/why not? What could we do to make it move? What if we pushed as hard as possible - would that make it move?

  • Identify all the forces involved.

  • When the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.

Normal Force

Push

Push

Weight


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What happens if we remove friction?

  • Providing a cushion of air decreases the force of friction.

  • Allow students to feel frictionless motion! See Altshuler, K. (1989). Human Airpuck, The Physics Teacher, 615-617.


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When the forces on an object are unbalanced the object will change its motion (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).

  • Newton’s Laws tell us that objects at rest remain at rest, and objects in straight line motion remain in straight line motion, unless acted on by an outside force.

  • How can we use a force detector to see unbalanced forces?

Balloon rockets -- tape a balloon to a straw which has a string threaded through it. Release the blown up balloon. What motion is there? What forces are acting on the system? Can you make a 2-stage rocket? A rocket which returns to the launch site?


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When the forces on an object are unbalanced the object will change its motion (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).

  • Circular motion requires a net force - direction is always changing.

  • What provides the force to keep an object moving in a circle?

  • What happens if that force is removed?

  • The role of gravity in forming and maintaining planets, stars and the solar system.

What happens to a marble that is rolling around the edge of a plate when it comes to the end?

What are the forces involved here?


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Balloon Powered Circular Motion

  • Attach a balloon to the bottom of a bendy-straw using a rubber band. (blow up balloon once before attaching)

  • Find center of gravity and stick the pin through the straw & into the eraser at that point (be sure the pin is on the outside of the rubber band).

  • Inflate balloon and release air.

  • Bend the straw and repeat.


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Other Activities & Demos

  • Egg Into a Sheet (demo)

  • Diving Eggs and Diving Pens (demo)

  • Other Force Detectors/Accelerometers

  • Egg Cars (activity)

  • Egg Drops (activity)


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Egg into a Sheet

  • Have four students help you hold a bed sheet. They should hold it vertically and taut with one student at each corner. The students on the bottom corners need to create a small “gutter” to catch the egg.

  • Get a student to throw a raw egg at the sheet as hard as possible. It won’t break!

  • Be sure that the sheet is not held directly in front of anything rigid - like a wall!

http://scied.unl.edu/pages/sciencedemos/Egg%20Toss/egg%20toss.htm


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Diving Eggs

  • Place a pie tin on 1-3 beakers of water (1/2 filled) so that the edge of the pie tin extends beyond the edge of the table

  • Place toilet paper tubes directly above the beaker(s)

  • Put a raw egg horizontally onto each tube (as shown in next slide)

  • Quickly remove the tray (a broom helps!)

  • The trick:


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Diving Pens

  • Materials: bottle, embroidery hoop, pen with a flat bottom

  • Balance hoop on bottle

  • Balance pen on the hoop (over bottle mouth)

  • Quickly remove the hoop & the pen will go into the bottle

  • The trick to success:

http://scied.unl.edu/pages/sciencedemos/coin%20a%20hoop/coin%20a%20hoop.htm


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Other Force Detectors/Accelerometers

  • Cork in a bottle or helium balloon in a car

No net force, the cork is at rest.

Note the position of the cork & the shape of the water. Net force to the right!


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Other Activities . . . Egg Cars

  • Students build a car to transport an egg passenger. They build cars with and without safety-belts and air bags. (Eggs sit in paper-cup “seats” and have rubber band “seat-belts” and balloon “air bags”. Students then crash the cars into a wall to see how the safety restraints function.

  • Write-up includes description of the car and safety devices and the physics involved.


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Other Activities . . .Egg Drop Contests

  • Students are challenged to create a contraption which can safely house an egg for a long distance fall. You can restrict the building materials if desired.

  • Students must develop a sales brochure for their egg carrier which explains how it works as well as “sells” it to consumers.

  • Students can also build contraptions which will safely “catch” an egg being dropped from a height.


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California Science Standards Grade 3

  • Energy and matter have multiple forms and can be changed from one form to another. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    • Students know energy comes from the Sun to Earth in the form of light.

    • Students know sources of stored energy take many forms, such as food, fuel, and batteries.

    • Students know machines and living things convert stored energy to motion and heat.

    • Students know energy can be carried from one place to another by waves, such as water waves and sound waves, by electric current, and by moving objects.

  • Light has a source and travels in a direction. As a basis for understanding this concept:

    • Students know sunlight can be blocked to create shadows.

    • Students know light is reflected from mirrors and other surfaces.

    • Students know the color of light striking an object affects the way the object is seen.

    • Students know an object is seen when light traveling from the object enters the eye.


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CA 8th Grade Physical Science Standards (Forces)

Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity. As a basis for understanding this concept, students know:

  • a. a force has both direction and magnitude.

  • b. when an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the effect is the cumulative effect of all the forces.

  • c. when the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.

  • d. how to identify separately two or more forces acting on a single static object, including gravity, elastic forces due to tension or compression in matter, and friction.

  • e. when the forces on an object are unbalanced the object will change its motion (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).

  • f. the greater the mass of an object the more force is needed to achieve the same change in motion.

  • g. the role of gravity in forming and maintaining planets, stars and the solar system.


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