4th grade has spent the last couple of weeks diving deep into our study of energy. We have learned so much! Through interactive games, demonstrations, videos, and activities students now understand: what energy is (and isn’t), different forms of energy, and how energy is transferred and transformed. Some highlights were going to the design lab to explore potential and kinetic energy with marbles, ramps and pumpkins, and then going to the science lab to design to build windmill blades that would capture the kinetic energy of wind in order to generate electricity. What a fun couple of weeks!
Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen
Ms. Gaines’ 4th grade class has also enjoyed a lot of lab time. Beyond the spaghetti/marshmallow challenge, they have used the lab for a bridge building challenge and ramp experiments. 4th graders came in with the task of designing as many different bridges as possible with only one piece of paper, and each bridge had to hold 10 screws. After enough designs, students took their best one and added screws until failure. The strongest bridge held over 500 screws!
To supplement Ms. Gaines’ lessons on kinetic and potential energy, the 4th graders came to the design lab to run a ramp experiment. Students ran 3 trials of 5 different ramp heights where they timed how long it took for the ball to travel 1 meter. As a fun supplement, students learned how the law of conservation of energy prevents a mass on a pendulum (in this case, a pumpkin) from hitting their face if released from that height. Ask Mr. Lenz for some great slo-mo reaction videos!