Dec

3

Foam RocketsWe have started son Will, 9, doing science with Dad on Saturday mornings (and Josh, 6, tags along) while Mom takes John, 4, and Anna, 2, to music class.

Last week, we learned about averages and how to compute them. Small boys like weaponry, so Dad had th idea to take Grandad's gift of air pressure fired rockets (little foam rockets you attach to a bulb which you squeeze hard) down to the garage. We fired 5 rockets per boy out of the doorway into the driveway, measured the distance in inches, and computed the average. Wide variation was noted and will be the topic of "standard deviation" class later. First we had to get some good data. Josh was ecstatic to shoot farther than Will, but even he thought it interesting that sometimes Will outshot him and vice versa.
 
Today, Will fired up the Electronic Snap Circuit kit. Project #1 was a little boring but a good start — make a circuit and use a switch to turn on a light bulb.

Project #2 made up for that. This one has the kid make a circuit with a switch and a motor. The motor has a 3-bladed propellor attachment. If you run the motor long enough, the propellor comes off and zooms across the dining room like a flying saucer. Great howls of laughter with dancing for joy and then repeats.

All good scientists keep some sort of notebook. Will currently has to write down date, title, the data he collected (rocket inches, for examples), and a couple sentences describing what he did and what happened. This part is boring, so I'm going easy on it at first, but he is doing well.


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