SCHOOL: Bolton Elementary School
PROGRAM: Moon in Motion
Scientist: Heather Fisher
4th Grade: Moon in Motion
3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF!!
Last Friday I got to take a trip to space with the 4th graders at Bolton Elementary, all without leaving the classroom! We started with a glimpse at what would happen if we were out in space without a pressurized space suit. Spoiler alert, it didn’t look like it would end well for Bob, our balloon astronaut! “If you’re curious what would really happen, check out this article!
We had a blast experimenting with how different planetary bodies are moving around in space! After looking at the phases of the moon and building a mobile model of the earth, sun, and moon, we got to the REALLY fun stuff! Each student built a mini straw rocket that we tried to blast to the Moon, Earth and Jupiter! We had to really work on our aim and change the force to move the rocket exactly the distance we needed. Each student also practiced using centripetal force to keep a bouncy ball in orbit. We had a few “planets” collide with each other, others were accidentally launched into deep space, and a few unfortunate, hopefully uninhabited, planets that were lost forever.
My favorite part of each program, however, was watching each student’s reaction when I filled my cup with water and used centripetal force to make that orbit my finger without spilling! No one believed it would work, but thankfully all of us and the floor remained dry! I hope by now everyone has tested it on their own (outside of course) and figured out the perfect acceleration and deceleration to make it work without getting wet!
The fourth graders at Bolton turned out to be great Astronomers! I can’t wait to see if they are equally good Geologists when we visit again later this year!