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Young Scientists At Work!

About this Daily Classroom Special
Young Scientists at Work was written by

Michelle Serpenti, teacher at Trinity School of Communication Arts & Technology, New Rochelle, NY.

Young Scientists At Work!

Lesson #4  “Wheel” Roll Right Over You

Learning Objectives: Through an inquiry-based experiment, the students will investigate and create different types of wheel and axle systems. In addition, they will conclude how the various constructions produce diverse rolling results.

Materials: Thin cocktail straws, (two to three per child) two different sized plastic disks with holes in the middle (two and three inch diameters, four per child) a 12x12 cardboard panel, 4 clothespins for each pair of scientists, teacher made activity sheet, student journals, pencils and crayons.

Procedure: In order to activate and build upon prior knowledge, the students will be shown a semantic web containing words and pictures pertaining to wheels and axles. After the semantic web is discussed in a large group, the children will be asked to use the terms in order to compose as many factual sentences as possible. After sharing the responses, each cooperative pair will be instructed to use the cardboard panel and clothespins to create an inclined plane. The disks and cocktails straws will be used to create wheel and axle systems, whose motions the students will observe. They will be asked to experiment by using two different shaped disks, as well as to insert the straw into the outside spokes of the disks. In addition, children will be asked to discuss and record their observations and inferences in their journals.

Technology Link: Students can test their knowledge of balance and motion by taking the online quiz located at www.davison.k12.mi.us/elementary/balquiz.htm

Learning Center Activity: In small groups students can create additional questions about the activities and experiments they have done in order to email them to the quiz’s host school.

Assessment: A rubric containing the names of each student as well as the feasible constructions can be used to determine how well the children have comprehended the lesson’s learning objectives. For example, students can be asked to create a wheel and axle system that rolls to the left, right, center, etc. Using the target vocabulary and their journals, the students can describe and illustrate the tasks they accomplished.

Homework/Extension: Using the Dimension of Learning Sketch to Stretch strategy, tell the students that they have been assigned to work on a car factory assembly line and must design wheel and axles. In their journals they may illustrate, label and explain their designs.

Rolling Right Over!

Name: ________________________________________________ Date:____

Using the materials in the bag, draw how you can make a fast roller. Use the words below to help you label the parts of your drawing.

Incline clothespins large red wheel straw (axle) 

small yellow wheel roll spin

Try your wheel and axle. What happened?_______________________________________

What can you change to make it go faster and farther?_____________________________

Design #2
Draw your new wheel and axle design.

Now try design #2. What happened?___________________________________________

Which design goes the fastest and farthest? ____________________________________

With your ruler, measure how far your best roller went. Try it 5 times.

Try #1 _________inches
Try #2 _________inches
Try #3 _________inches
Try #4 _________inches
Try #5 _________inches

Use your information to make a graph of how far your roller went.


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