Synergy scientists are learning all about how things work during our Physical Science unit. They are rotating to four different classrooms to learn about sound and vibration, force and friction, magnets, and motion. The kids are absolutely loving this unit and their energy is contagious every day that we do the workshops.
I am leading the workshop that is focusing on motion. To learn more about how things move the kids are doing two experiments using ramps made of blocks, marbles and golf balls. The first experiment focuses on changing the height of the slope on the ramp and rolling a marble to figure out which allows for the marble to travel the farthest. They begin by making a hypothesis, as all scientists do, and then getting to work with their partner to test and record their theory to see what they discover. As not all Synergy Scientists have been through this rotation, I will keep the findings to myself, but I encourage you to ask your student if they have been through this workshop yet and what they discovered.
The second experiment focuses on changing the slope again, but this time to discover if a marble or a golf ball rolls faster down the ramp and which rolls farther. Does the lighter ball gather more speed or does the heavier ball? It is very interesting hearing their justifications for their hypotheses. This experiment is a bit more tricky keeping both balls on the ramp for the whole roll, but they are learning that scientists test things over and over and over to get accurate results. At the end of this one the students are finding themselves more surprised by their discoveries. The predictions also vary a bit more making for an interesting closing discussion.
The students have been coming in every day since we have started this unit and asked, "Are we doing science workshops today?" It has been so much fun to share in their enthusiasm as we discover more about how things work!