Monday, January 5, 2015

Newton's 2nd Law of Motion - Squeeze Bottle Strong Man Game



Having investigated Newton's first law of motion, it seemed only natural to move on to the 2nd:  Force equals Mass times Acceleration.

Thinking of one of those "strong man" carnival games, where you hit a lever in an attempt to move a disk up a pole to ring a bell, I gathered a few things from around the house.  Instead of a lever, I had a squeeze bottle...


...and instead of a disk, I had a little roll of paper, just large enough to fit over the nozzle of the bottle lid, taped shut, and crimped with a pliers on one end, to form a sort of rocket, with a short piece of straw glued to the side (see the picture below).


For a pole, I hot glued a wooden skewer, flat end down, onto the cap next to the nozzle...


...so I could thread the straw onto the skewer...


...and cover the nozzle with the open end of the closed paper tube.


Finally, I hot glued a bell...


...to the top of the skewer.


The type of bell I had though, made nose whenever the pole shook, not just when the bell was struck, so I removed the little ball from inside the bell, and attached it to the flat end of a nail, glued to the paper tube.


Instead of hitting a lever to ring the bell...


...the children had to squeeze the bottle.


Giving the bottle a little squeeze - or applying a little force, moved the paper tube part way up the skewer.


Applying a lot of force, with a good hard squeeze, caused the tube to rush right to the top of the skewer, and strike the bell.  Mind you the sound of the bottle being squeezed was nearly as loud as the sound of the bell being struck...


...but we heard it, all the same...


...and learned a little more science in the process.

This activity is best suited for elementary aged students old enough to be able to handle a skewer, and small parts, safely.

5 comments:

Amber Hockman said...

Again I must ay- you are the coolest Homeschooling Mama out there!

Angelic Scalliwags said...

Keep them coming Leah...you are basically writing our Newton study for next Autumn. Book marking again!

Phyllis Bergenholtz said...

I am with Angelic Scalliwags...we will be doing physical science next year and I know where I am coming for the demos.

Ticia said...

Oh my that looks fun. Now should I dump out the dish soap so I can do that now, decisions, decisions.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

This is very clever! Maybe I should buy our next dish soap from a store other than Costco so we have a bottle to do this with...