Friday, August 6, 2010

Penny Drop Experiment - Newton's First Law of Motion For Kids

We had more fun with Newton's Laws of Motion today, pulling an experiment from Janice Vancleave's Scientists Through the Ages.

I prepared things ahead of time, by cutting one of the narrow sides off of an empty cereal box, and taping it into a loop.

Then, we balanced the loop on top of a jar, and placed a penny on top of the loop.

The kids took turns rolling the loop off the jar, with a pencil...

...and watching the penny drop into the jar.

It fell straight down every time. We repeated the experiment, replacing the penny with lighter objects, like a googly eye, or a paper clip, and it still worked every time.

I asked the children if they knew why the penny dropped into the jar, instead of moving forward with the loop. My oldest didn't miss a beat in telling me it was because of on of Newton's Law thingies - an object at rest wants to stay at rest. The others nodded in agreement, and added that gravity was pulling it down, too.

They've been listening! I think I managed to keep the evil laugh inside my head, though they might have noticed the happy dance in my eyes.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

I can do the evil laugh for you. I totally would not have remembered that on my own.

Christy Killoran said...

I love the evil laugh.

Phyllis said...

I love it! You have some pretty well educated kids there. Pat the teacher on the back!:)

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Nice experiment and easy to do too! You have so much fun with physics!