18 September 2015
Science Club: Friction
This month my science club studied friction. We watched a brief video about friction, then we had two separate experiments to try.
1. Rice bottle
Supplies: empty water bottles, uncooked rice, funnels and scoops to put rice in bottles, wooden chopsticks
Directions: Use your scoop and funnel (I used a paper cup for a scoop and a rolled piece of paper as a funnel) to fill the bottle with rice. Tap the bottle on the table to help the rice "settle" in the bottle and then add more. Your bottle should be as crammed full of rice as you can make it. Next, stick a chopstick into the bottle. Friction should hold the chopstick in with the rice, which will allow you to pick up the bottle using just the chopstick. If it doesn't stay, remove the chopstick and add more rice.
2. Balloon people
Supplies: paper cutouts of people (or whatever shape you want), balloon
Directions: Inflate balloon. Rub balloon rapidly on your clothing. This friction between the balloon and the fabric will create static electricity, which should allow you to pick up the paper people with your balloon. Hold your balloon over the paper people and watch them "jump" to meet the balloon. Make paper people of various sizes; what's the biggest size "person" your balloon can pick up?
I also gave the kids a handout with an additional experiment they could try at home. Overall, the kids and parents both enjoyed learning about friction this month at the library.