Friday, September 14, 2012

Science Co-op Week 1

We survived our first week of co-op classes,  and I mean that literally.  In order to create more "classrooms" the church erected some dividers in the fellowship hall.  While we were trying to read Little House in the Big Woods on one side, a group of younger students were singing a song to learn the continents on the other.  Apparently they were pointing on a map at the same time and some one's point turned into a push and two sections of the dividers came crashing down on our kids.  One girl had a busted lip and hurt her back, but the rest were mostly scared and not injured.

I asked one of the older boys to help me get my Science of Disney Imagineering DVD ready for viewing after lunch.  They just installed a flat screen TV and apparently no one was exactly sure how to work it.  In five minutes I had all the boys over 12 checking connections and pushing buttons--on the TV, on the DVD player, on the remote.  We finally had a black and white image on the screen but it was blown up so large it couldn't all fit on the screen.  I was doing some serious praying because half my class was going to be watching the video.  Someone finally had the idea to switch some wires and then it worked fine.

We started with Trajectory.  We did not use the Try It Yourself project from the DVD--as fun as it would have been, a 3 man slingshot in a church didn't seem wise.  Instead,  we tested the statement that a 45 degree angle would  launch the projectile the farthest.  We used large hair rubber bands stuck in a notch in the end of a wooden ruler.  The students could pull the rubber band back the same distance every time.  We used protractors to set the angles from 14 to 60 degrees.  I would have tried 75 degrees but we were already hitting the basement's low ceiling.  I had the students put dominoes down to mark where the rubber bands landed--I'd already made labels for the dominoes with the different angles written on them.  I was planning to have the kids measure the distances next, but we'd already run out of time.  Instead we just looked at the pattern of domino markers and we could see the 15 degree launches were the shortest and the 45 degree launches did go the farthest.

Next week: Fluids

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