Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Science Club: Mechanics

I've always thought gravity was a mighty force. It keeps us on solid ground afterall! Who knew it's actually the weakest among the four basic forces? Serena was able to demonstrate how magnetism beats gravity in this simple experiment.

Mrs. Guilford started a Science Club for the South Delta homelearners and the inaugural unit was on mechanics. Many stations were set up for students to do some fun activities related to gravity, friction, electromagnetism and force fields.

Does your cereal sometimes taste a bit... metallic? After mixing some ground "iron packed" cereal with water, Serena used a strong magnet to pull from the slurry a minuscule amount of iron (see the black dot?) and move it around at the bottom of the cup.

To make a compass, Serena swiped a needle with a magnet in one direction many times. She floated the magnetized needle with a piece of foam in a bowl of water, then compared it with a compass and yes, it pointed north!

One piece of paper and one piece of rock - which falls faster to the ground if we drop them at the same time from the same height? What if we crumble up the piece of paper into a ball first? This was Galileo's famous experiment.

How "grippy" are your shoes? In this experiment on friction, Serena tested different shoes on an inclined plane by recording the height of the plane at which the shoe started sliding off the top. Good information to know if you, like Serena, enjoy climbing UP slides at the playground!

Serena was detecting the electric field here by first rubbing a balloon on her fleecy toque to charge it, then using it to move a stick on a pivot in a circle without touching the stick. Like magic!

If you must know, the four basic forces from strongest to weakest are: strong nuclear force, electromagnetism, weak nuclear force, and gravity.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all this new knowledge we are getting from your learning path
    Very much enjoyed your journey through the different steps.
    Love Nanny & Papa