Saturday, January 1, 2011

Conservation of Momentum

Objects in Motion, Chapter 5 part 1, Conservation of Momentum.

I turned to a favorite book of mine, Gizmos and Gadgets, and found a bunch of activities relating to this chapter. Simple things, like giving them three coins--two pennies and a nickle--and challenging them move one penny using the other penny without them touching each other. They tried all kinds of things before finally figuring out how to use then conservation of momentum to do it.

And more complex things, like creating Newton's Cradle using marbles and an egg carton ramp. There's just something fascinating about watching spheres collide!


We finished up building a simple momentum tower, another idea from the book. I had two 20 oz bottles filled with water. The kids tied a string between them and then attached two strings with paperclips to the first string, and then stuck modeling clay onto the paperclips. They held the bottles so the string between them was taut and then carefully swung only one of the clay suspensions. Guess what happened to the other clay swing?


L a u r a said...

I appreciate you posting these experiments to go along with "Secrets of the Universe" chapters. BTW--my father-in-law (a mechanical engineer/career inventor at 3M) and my husband (a structural engineer) love this book as I do. Even more telling, our children do too! Thank you for the recommendation!

Happy New Year!

Rebecca said...

We have just started reading this book because you recommended it! I love it! My son loves it. Thank you so much! There is really a great need in the homeschooling community for the information you are sharing. Really, really grateful for the time you take to share.

We have the Gizmos and Gadgets book (it came as part of our NOEO science curriculum) and we have done several of the experiments. I was wondering if you have ever done the pencil and can racer? We had a lot of trouble with that one. Is there a trick to getting it to work?

Thank you! Thank you! I have added your blog to my list of personal favorites, which I use to enhance our CM style studies. The Handbook of Nature Study is another favorite, as well.

Kris said...

Laura, that's so great to hear! It really is great for that middle school age--just starting to really comprehend how forces work without overwhelmong them.

And Rebecca, thank you so much. I am so glad to hear your family is enjoying this series as much as we are! I have not done the pencil car racer--now I am curious to try it and tell you how it come out!

Barb's site is really one of the best blogs out there for homeschoolers.