Force Exploration Stations

I love giving primary kids a chance to explore science on their own!  Many of my Next Gen Science units have exploration stations built in because of this teaching core belief of mine.  Here's a look at the hands on Force exploration stations for kindergartners!

Ramps

This can be as simple as using dry erase boards as ramps for cars, balls, or blocks.  Put all of these materials at this station and have students explore how the objects move the same or differently on the ramp.

My kiddo tried this angle first.  He just let the car go without pushing it.

Then, he decided to make it steeper to go farther.

But the table stopped the motion of the car because of the steep change in angles.  This was definitely not what he expected!

So then, he made the angle less steep.  And the car rolled the farthest at this angle!

Questions to explore at this station are...

How can we make the objects move down the ramp faster?

Slower?

Which objects go down the ramp the fastest? Why?

Bowling

Use recycled and empty water bottles and a foam ball to set up a simple bowling station.  Students will explore what causes the bottles to fall down.

Questions to explore at this station are...

What force makes the water bottles fall?

How can I make more bottles fall?

Straws

At this station, students will use (their own!) straw to try to blow cotton balls across the desk or table!
    

We discovered two straws were better than one! #thatface

Questions to explore at this station are...

What force makes the cotton ball move?

How can I make the cotton ball move slower?

Faster?

Chair Pulleys

I love this station because when done right, it really causes kids to think!  Tie a rope around two chairs facing back to back with a bucket hanging from the rope.

Students must try to move the bucket around the chairs without actually touching the bucket!

Questions to explore...

What force is causing the bucket to move?

Why does this work without me touching it?

How can I move the bucket faster?

Slower?

Tools

This is a popular one for boys!  Who knew boys were exploring force when they are role playing at their play work tables/construction zones!

Questions to explore with tools....

How can I force the nail/screws in?

How can I make them come out?

You can find these exploration stations and more force activities in this unit!
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