April 27 Activities
S/E- science and engineering combined! Gravity: we’ve all heard of it! But have you really thought about what it does for us every day? Let’s learn a little bit more about gravity before using it to do some work for us! Watch this video and feel free to do the ball throwing investigation along with our host, then we’ll really get to work on the fun stuff!
Now that you’ve watched the video, and we know that gravity pulls all non-supported objects down toward the earth, let’s make a Marble Maze! This maze will be the supporting surface that keeps the marble (or any other small round object) from falling straight to the ground. We will have to twist and rock the maze to make gravity work for us by pulling the marble down, thus moving it around any obstacles you put in your maze. If you choose to cut holes through the surface of your maze, those will be tiny portals for gravity to force the marble or ball all the way to the ground, so watch out! 🙂 Let’s begin! You will need a flat cardboard surface* (a clean pizza box works really well, especially because it has sides to keep the marble in, but if you don’t have one, try a plastic storage tub, shoebox, etc), some strips of cardboard or cereal box or really anything you can tape or glue to the cardboard surface to make the inner walls of the maze, some other materials to make obstacles out of (think clay, sticks, play dough, pencils, pipe cleaners, toilet paper tubes for tunnels, etc), and either glue or tape. Before plopping all the obstacles down, use a pencil to plan and sketch your maze on the cardboard surface. You can make straight or curved walls, speed bumps, tunnels, spirals, holes, and more! Just make sure you have Start and a Finish zones that can be reached. In other words, don’t make it impossible to finish without picking up your marble. When you finish your plan, begin construction! Make sure to ask an adult for help with the tricky stuff, like cutting cardboard, or using glue, hot glue, or tape. When your maze is finished, try it out! If it’s too easy, make it more difficult! Have other members of your family try, and add more obstacles as you get good at beating the maze!
T/M- Technology/math combined! If you have some regular printer paper and some heavy books*, you can do some amazing things! Let’s try to build a paper pillar that will support something heavy. There are several ways to do this! Let’s start simple. Watch this video** for a quick tutorial, and then try your own. Once your paper pillars are constructed, try to see how much they will hold! Make sure you ask for help stacking the books or weights, and take your time! Can you do some math with the weight your pillars hold? How many books did your paper pillars hold? If you used four pillars, how many books is that PER pillar? (hint: Take your total number of books and divide by four!) Try to see what else your paper pillars can hold! Make sure you’re not using anything breakable, and that you have help with your towers of things get too high!
*No paper? KWH administrators have kindly agreed to allow parents to ask for basic materials like paper by buzzing at the main entrance of KWH. Ms. BeckyJo or Ms. Eva or another staff member will get you what you need! No big books? Try a flat piece of wood or plastic with some heavy things stacked on it, like rocks, bricks, or workout weights!
Bonus: Can you make different types of pillars out of paper? Of course! Check out this video*** and try a few on your own! Which is the strongest shape of pillar? Which is the weakest? Can you build other things out of your paper tubes and pillars? I’d love to see what you come up with!
Please continue to take photos of your projects and your test results and send them to me! I’d love to see your success!