Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Breaking the Force

It’s been just crazy with all our preparations for Annie in the last couple weeks (not to mention testing and other nonsense like that), so it’s been hard to keep up with poor old blog. I’ll try to do better….

Today we did one of my favorite Science demonstrations. It’s called “Break the Force”. The students were given a balance with a pole magnet on one side. On that side they put a magnet in the cup. On the other side they slowly put in big steel washers. They wanted to find out how many washers it would take before the two magnets separated, before the could “break the force” of magnetism.


After they did this the first time, they put in small plastic spacers between the two magnets to see how distance could weaken the force of magnetic attraction. They experimented by placing more and more spacers between the magnets and recording the results. 


After they had done the activity six times, they graphed their results.


The students concluded - quite correctly - that distance significantly weakens the force of magnetism. 

The rest of the day was spent doing a bit of this and a bit of that. We went over homework, we read and discussed another chapter of By the Great Horn Spoon! and we started reading about the Progressive Era in California history. We also learned about how to calculate balance in rectangular prisms. 

Homework:  (1) Do By the Great Horn Spoon chapter 16 study sheet. (2) Do the Hetch Hetchy response sheet. (3) Do Changing Times study guide. (4) Do Magnetism review paper. This will be a kind of “take home” test activity for them. (5) Do the Volume math papers. 

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