Need ideas for science, engineering, & technology experiments please

Discussion in 'General Education' started by bonnjer, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. bonnjer

    bonnjer Rookie

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    Apr 15, 2013

    I already have a few ideas for some 4th to 6th grade level (could be a little higher) science, engineering, and technology experiments - things like a pizza box solar cooker, egg drop contest, and balloon car racer.

    What are some other fun activities that you might use in class during the year or toward the end of the year that the kids enjoy?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Apr 15, 2013

    Building bridges or towers out of spaghetti. Do it as a competition where they have to 'buy' the spaghetti and tape so that you can judge the best structure at the lowest price. Bridges can be tested to destruction at the end by loading with weights. Same can be done with drinking straws or even sheets of newspaper that they need to make into girders (rolling is best).

    Paper helicopters can be dropped and timed during their fall. Then you can investigate the effect of shorter wings or heavier weights or different types of paper on the speed of fall. Lots of opportunities for fair testing plus data can be collected very fast so you can also include some maths skills such as averaging results and graphs.

    Crumple zones for cars. It requires a trolley (physics depts usually have dynamics trollies) eggs and news paper. Kids design a crumple zone for the front of the trolley then add an egg as passenger and roll it down a ramp and into a wall. Whose egg survives the crash?

    Water rockets? (outside activity). Design fins, nosecones etc then find out optimum amount of fuel (water) for longest flight.

    Hydrogen rockets!! (outside activity)
     
  4. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    Apr 15, 2013

    Mouse trap catapults. Just finished that project with my STEM class. It was fun!
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Apr 15, 2013

    Blazer, I really like your ideas. Do you have any more like this?
     
  6. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Apr 16, 2013

    You can investigate the bounce efficiency of different balls.

    Drop a ball from a fixed height and see how far up it bounces.
    Bounce efficiency is (bounce height divided by drop height) x 100

    You can either look at how the height of the drop affects the efficiency for a particular type of ball (ping pong balls work well). you will find that the highest efficiency is the lowest drop height and efficiency falls as drop height rises. (You may want to introduce things like air resistance and terminal velocity).

    Or you can compare different typoes of balls such as ping pong, tennis, golf, base ball, squash ball etc.

    Again data can be collected very quickly and so lots of maths processing could be done.



    Pendulums.
    Look at the effect of the length of string or the mass on the period of swing or the amount of lift of the pendulum. Lots of opportunity for the kids to investigate the best way of timing the swings (we find that timing 10 swings and dividing by 10 if best but they can find this out for themselves).

    You should find the mass has no effect but the length of string does (longer string, slower swing).
    You can also discuss why the swings get smaller as time goes by (Some chance to look at air resistance and energy transfer).

    If you can make a very long pendulum (in a stairwell perhaps) then you can observe the revolution of the Earth (look up foucaults pendulum)
     
  7. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    Apr 16, 2013

    I really like the infectious disease activity. You can do this with either glow in the dark glitter or cups of water. Basically, you have one student that is the initial carrier of the disease, and students move around the room shaking hands or exchanging a drop of water. At the end of the activity, you get to see how many people were infected.

    Another fun activity is using eggs to show how a cell behaves in a hyper or hypotonic solution.

    Send me a message if you'd like me to give you my materials for either of these activities. :)
     
  8. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Apr 16, 2013

    Design a coat to keep you warm. Use test tubes or yoghurt cartons with hot water and wrap them in different materials to see which retains the heat longest (or reverse it by seeing how long an ice cube stays frozen).
     

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