First grade students at The Learning Center Charter School have recently spent time exploring forces, motion and balance as part of their science curriculum. They have experimented with all the ways force can make objects speed up, slow down or change direction. They have even explored how some forces like magnetism and gravity can act over long distances.
Science teacher, Emily Willey, helped students learn these complex science concepts in a multitude of ways. She has assisted students to make balance butterflies to learn about cantilevered forces, manipulate scales to learn about balance, experiment with leverage by changing the position of weights and more. Willey commented, “Each day I walk into the classroom, students are eager to explain an experience they had of an object moving or not when they applied a force to it. It’s so gratifying to see the excitement over the fact that they know that if they push down on an object and it doesn’t move, that there must also be an upward force acting on it!”
Students finished the unit by making a fun mobile with three to four legs. Students balanced a wooden mobile with different amounts of modeling clay to make the mobile able to spin and balance on a bottle lid. Students were quick to further explore where they could balance their mobiles . . . from their noses to their toes!
“I’ve been a science teacher for many, many years and this is the most exciting project we’ve ever done because the students were in love with creating a toy that could be in motion,” said Willey.