This year, our homeschool science topic is physics. I avoided taking physics in high school but when I took it in college, I didn’t love it. So I wasn’t too thrilled with studying it this year. I was mistaken! We are having so much fun with it! The kids love the topic, we have some great supplements and I really like our curriculum. That’s a rare combination.
On my YouTube channel this morning, I put up a science activities collaboration video. We hope to do it regularly through the year…and it may be good motivation for me to keep up with the activities! I loathe the prep work involved in doing science demonstrations! It’s one of my biggest downfalls as a homeschool parent. I trudge through…kicking & screaming some days!
Homeschool Physics Activities
Our first activity dealt with speed & finding averages and came from CPO Physical Science. Each child ran a predetermined distance with regularly placed markers (up our driveway using the cracks as the markers). They each ran it twice. I kept the time at each marker. When we were finished, we charted them, found the average and then graphed the results.
To go along with this, we also looked over speed time results from various Olympic sports and we played these reaction time mini-games I found on Twitter during the Olympics.
Suggestions: I would suggest a longer distance. I should have marked off spots on the road but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to see when they crossed each mark. I think I would have used an already-existing marker next time (mailboxes, perhaps), even if they weren’t evenly spaced. Since the activity was more about the experience, how to average, etc, different lengths would not have made a difference in what I wanted them to learn.
Airborne Eggs came from Mr. Q’s Physical Science and there was a version of it in Physics for Every Kid**. We made various-sized parachutes out of kitchen trash bags, put eggs in ziptop bags, tied the parachutes to the bags and then launched the eggs into the air from atop a ladder. The idea was to see how the various size bags effected flight time due to air resistance. We just watched my husband jump last week, so it was good timing.
Suggestions: Metal washers would be easier to attach to the parachutes. If you want to use the eggs, I would suggest using a hole puncher or scissors to create holes in each corner of the bag for easier tying. Or I would use flip-top sandwich bags rather than ziptop bags. Drop from higher than the suggested 10 feet. If we were to do it again, we would pop a screen out of the second or third floors and drop from there, so we could have a more measurable difference in landing time. I was barely able to measure the time for the largest one and not at all for the other two.