Yesterday we had a super exciting day. We’ve been studying Forces in Science. My grade 3 counterpart and I decided we would provide students with some background knowledge about muscular force, friction, gravitational force and magnetic force. Rather than doing an experiment each day we booked a scientist, Scientist Wendy through a great program called Scientists in the School it was a half day program. Scientist Wendy started off by giving them a bit of background (I think to gauge what they knew) information about forces and right away had them up and investigating. Students used catapults and pom poms to see if it takes more or less Newtons to make the pom pom travel further. The students thought this experiment was amazing! They loved using catapults. I mean when do they get the opportunity to launch objects around the classroom?
One of my favourite and student favourite was a gravity experiment where the students used foam pipe, a marble and some masking tape. The kids had to simulate a roller coaster and had to include one loop. Some groups mastered it quickly and some took more time but what I found fascinating was once they mastered it they didn’t say “I’m done, what can I do next” they instantly challenged themselves to make it more difficult by adding double loops and twists. Some groups even merged together to create super coasters.
Between experiments, Scientist Wendy would bring the kids back to the carpet and recap their learning, present new information and then introduce the next experiment. She would provide just enough information to get the kids started but not too much as to take away the discovery. It was loud and busy in the room but every.single.kid was focused, engaged and really into the learning moment. The experience solidified once again how kids thrive on inquiry based learning.
My students used time in the afternoon to blog about their personal experiences you can read about it on Kidblog.org/MsLY