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June 25, 2020

3 Kinetic Experiments That Will Keep You On Your Feet!

A great part of science theory is that which is related to energy or movement. In today’s article, here are some learning experiences that can teach your child more about kinetics and some fundamental physics principles! 

1. Force and Fountains

In this science experiment, we learn more about force and pressure. Here are the items needed:

  • A disposable plastic bottle
  • A balloon
  • Water
  • Blu Tack 
  • A straw
  • Penknife
  • A Tray or large bowl

Start by making a cut in the middle of one side of the plastic bottle that is big enough for the straw to fit through. Next, fit the straw through the bottle, and secure it in place using Blu Tack. Fill up the bottle with water, making sure that the opening of the straw that is in the bottle is covered. Then, place the bottle such that the opening of the straw is over the tray or large bowl. Inflate the balloon, and secure the opening of it over the bottle, making sure that the neck of the balloon is gripped tightly so that no air escapes while it is secured over the bottle. Immediately release the neck of the balloon once it is secured over the bottle’s opening. Observe what happens! Water should spurt out of the other end of the straw into the tray!

2. Non-Collapsible Towers

In this experiment, we explore the concept of Inertia, also known as Newton’s First Law! The law of inertia refers to how an object is able to resist changes in motion, unless an unbalanced force is applied to it. Inertia is also affected by mass of an object – the greater the mass of the object, the greater the inertia. In this experiment, you will need:

  • Twine
  • 7 pieces of Cardstock (ensure that the size of the cardstock has a greater surface area than the blocks and cups)
  • Hole Puncher
  • 8 Wooden Blocks 
  • 8 Paper Cups

Before starting the experiment, attach a piece of twine to each cardstock by punching a hole and securing the twine to it. Next, stack up the wooden blocks one atop another as if forming a tower, placing a prepared cardstock in between each block. Get your child to pull on each string, starting from the top of the wooden block tower. The string should not be pulled at an angle, and has to be pulled on fast. Ask your child to observe what happens? Do the blocks manage to stay in place? Repeat the experiment with the paper cups! Due to the paper cups being much lighter than the wooden blocks, much less force has to be applied when pulling on the string in order to keep the cups stacked atop one another! The two experiments will help to explain how the law of inertia is applied in real life. 

3. Balloon Powered Cars

This experiment is another one that explains both Newton’s First and Third Laws of Physics! Making use of air in a balloon to move a car, this experiment is a fun one that allows your child to learn more about science. You will need:

  • A disposable plastic bottle
  • 2 skewers
  • 4 plastic bottle caps
  • 4 straws
  • Tape
  • Blu Tack
  • A needle

Start by assembling the car. The plastic bottle serves as the car body. Use the needle to pierce holes into the center of each bottle cap, and attach one bottle cap to both ends of each skewer to make four wheels. Attach the center portion of the two skewers to each end of the plastic bottle to form the car using the tape. Ensure that the wheels are level when they are placed on the ground. Next, tape the four straws together to form a tube with a width of four straw openings. Place one end of the straw nozzle into the balloon, and seal. Make a cut at the top of the bottle and slot the nozzle through the opening. Secure with tape or Blu Tack as needed, leaving an inch of the nozzle through the mouth of the bottle’s opening. Next, find a flat surface that the car will be able to move on. Inflate the balloon using the straws, and pinch the neck of the balloon to keep the air in. Set it down on the surface and release the balloon neck to see the car move! Make use of different materials to experiment what kind of design allows your car to move further and faster!

We hope you and your child enjoy these educational activities! Should you and your child be interested in science and scientific endeavors, check our our YMCA Learning Centre STEM programme! This programme aims to spark an interest in students in learning how the world around us works, through experiential learning. Do contact us to find out more! 

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