Today in social studies we began the next section of the project, which is a brochure on visiting a town or city in North Carolina. This assignment will be done strictly at school. I spent the whole time (30 minutes) going over it and I will definitely review it again tomorrow.
Speaking of tomorrow, I will give the class at least 45 minutes to work on it. It will be due on the 17th which is the day before the last day prior to winter break. Both I and Ms. Brown will ensure that all of the students will have ample class time to work on this.
In science, we did a lot! We began with the usual warm-up:
Today's experiment covered mechanical energy (potential and kinetic) and how it transfers from one thing to another. We used glass marbles to demonstrate the concepts. Here is how we did it:
Students placed a book or other object on the floor. They then measured the height in centimeters and record the data as Height 1. They then placed an incline (two wooden dowels taped together making a perfect groove between them) on the book and held the marble at the edge. This is potential energy since it was not moving but was in the position to move when force (such as a push) is applied. Upon releasing it, they timed how long it takes to go to a point three squares away from the point where the bottom of the incline meets the floor.
This is kinetic energy since it is in motion. Since I didn't have stopwatches (who knows where they are) nor the time to install a stopwatch app on all of the iPads, I had an online stopwatch shown on the screen.
Next, they recorded the elapsed time next to Height 1. Add a book (or something), measure, repeat. Twice.
They quickly observed that there was a negative correlation (one variable increases and the other decreases) between the height of the incline and the speed of the marble. We did not have the time to graph the results so we will do that tomorrow before working on the social studies project.
They did one last activity just for fun. This involved placing two more marbles a short distance from where the incline meets the floor. Another marble was place a short distance behind the one on the floor. In order for this to work, the marbles need to be lined up to where the marble in motion will collide with the first one on the floor.
And......that is what they did. The marble was released and it collided with the one on the floor. It in turn went into motion which collided with the third marble, causing it to move. This is a demonstration of how energy transfers. The marble in motion has kinetic energy. As soon as it collides with the stationary marble, the energy transfers to it causing the once immobile marble to go into motion.
I also mentioned Newton's First Law of Motion (Law of Inertia) which states that a body at rest remains at rest until acted upon by an outside force. A body in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force.
Lastly, progress reports will go home.
Below is a slideshow of the students from all three classes in various stages of the activity.