Sunday, February 10, 2013

Discover Challenge: Aerodynamics

Who doesn't love dropping things and watching them spin and fall?  Outside snowflakes and leaves and seedpods all fall through the air and this discover challenge gives little ones a chance to explore the this idea a bit further.

Materials: scrap paper, scissors

Talk about things you've noticed drifting outside.  You can mention that snow fall slow and rain falls fast.  Hold a piece of paper high up (you can do this outside or from a chair or down the stairs) and drop it to the ground.  Ask the children to make something that falls fast and something that falls slowly.  How can you change the shape of a piece of paper and change how it falls?

If this challenge is too easy, you can ask them to create different shapes to:

  • twist as they fall
  • fly (think airplanes)
  • flutter
  • fall straight down
  • spin
You can also keep track of the time it takes the objects to fall by timing each drop.  Why don't they fall the same each time?  Can you change their direction by blowing?

 Our discovery...

Since we've made snowflakes before.  Both Hadley and Fin started off by folding an cutting.  Hadley then spent some time trying to make the familiar shapes from nature (feather, leaf, etc).  Since we dropped them from a chair it was hard to see a difference.  Next time we will try to drop everything from a much greater height. 

1 comment:

  1. It is pretty amazing how much fun you can have experimenting, love this!


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