Penny Lift Simple Science

Easy Science at Home, use the weight of pennies to pull the car up the ramp

Last week as we were checking out Simple Machines, one of the books in Starting With Science kids series, our librarian looked kindly at my kids and noted, “Your son will enjoy this book.”  My daughter was standing right there too!  Do you get irritated by this kind of sexist comments?  Do you say anything?  Why shouldn’t my daughter enjoy building simple machines?  After all, a circular saw was invented by a woman and so was the first modern programming language (check out those other things invented by women). We happened to like our librarian very much (we even bake her cookies and buns) and she is very patient with our endless questions, so I kept my mouth shut.  But I’m happy to tell you that my daughter does indeed enjoy this book as much as my son.  One of the things they really liked exploring is inclined plane.  If you have cars lover in your family, give it a try.  It can be done with things readily available in a home.  And you can finally make use of all those loose pennies.

You will need
books
a long board (a closet shelf worked for us)
2 small yogurt containers or plastic cups
a piece of string
two toy cars of different sizes
lots of pennies
hole puncher to make holes in containers
scissors to cut string
paper and pen to record observations

What to do
1.  Poke two small holes near the top of yogurt container on opposite sides.  Thread one end of the string through the holes and tie it. Tie the other end of the string to the toy car.  Repeat with the second car.

Note:  We actually drilled holes in our cars because in my mind I saw lots of experiments that could be done with them this way. 

2. Build a ramp.  Put a small pile of books on one end of the table.  Rest one edge of the board on top. We used a second pile of books to prevent the board from sliding back.

3. Set the cars near the bottom of the ramp.  Hang the yogurt containers just over the edge of the board.

4.  Drop pennies, one at a time, into the containers counting out loud.  And record your observations.  Note: In place of pennies you can also try stones, marbles or blocks. 

Some questions to get the discussion started:
When does the car start to move?  
How many more pennies it takes to move it to the top of the ramp?
Does it take the same number of pennies to move both cars? 
Why?
What do you think is happening here? 

6.  Add one more book at a time to make the incline steeper.  The steeper the incline, the more pennies you will need.  It took us 41 pennies to move truck up the ramp made with 6 books.  Questions to ask:
We just added another book how many pennies does it take to move the car now?  
More pennies or fewer than before?  
How changing the number of books changes the incline?

This is what we used to record our observations.

The steps outlined above is what we did to get the exploration started.  After that I left kids to their own devices and they came up with many inventive ways to play with the ramp: varying vehicles, books, inclines, objects to move up and down the ramp.  When I wanted to put it away at the end of the day, they implored me to leave it as there were other things they wanted to try with it the next day.

Related posts
Color Changing Milk Experiment  
Inflate a balloon with vinegar and soda
Homemade lava lamp

  (function() {

    var li =
document.createElement(‘script’); li.type = ‘text/javascript’; li.async = true;

    li.src = (‘https:’
== document.location.protocol ? ‘https:’ : ‘http:’) +
‘//platform.stumbleupon.com/1/widgets.js’;

    var s =
document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(li, s);

  })();

Facebook Comments

Comments

20 thoughts on “Penny Lift Simple Science

  1. I simply want to say I am beginner to weblog and certainly enjoyed you’re page. Very likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You definitely come with outstanding posts. Bless you for sharing your website page.

    Reply
  2. Sac Longchamp Pliage Fleuri Grise · Edit

    Sac Longchamp Pliage Fleuri Grise http://www.etincellevif.fr/Longchamp_rH-oVbRg.html, I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.|

    Reply
  3. Air Max Pas Cher http://mullers.co.za/Air-Max_MErp2kGh/, You actually make it appear so easy together with your presentation however I to find this matter to be really something which I believe I’d never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely huge for me. I am having a look forward on your subsequent post, I’ll try to get the cling of it!|

    Reply

Post Comment