Students’ net force answers challenge

Discovery Place KIDS takes science to the classroom

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ELLERBE — Alissa Whitlock had the right answer.

She told Lauren VunCannon the higher the location of the start of the toy car’s descent, the faster it would go down the ramp.

VunCannon, of Discovery Place KIDS in Rockingham, took advantage of the nonprofit children’s museum’s Science Reach program to bring science to all four third grade students on Thursday at Mineral Springs Elementary School in Ellerbe.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Alissa Whitlock talks with Lauren VunCannon of Discovery Place KIDs.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Alissa Whitlock talks with Lauren VunCannon of Discovery Place KIDs.

In VunCannon, the 16 students of Christine Babashanian’s class had a former teacher who commanded respect of her charges and kept them focused on the task at hand. From the outset, VunCannon had her students’ attention. Of course, it was pretty easy once she gave them a moment to be as loud as they possibly could inside the school gymnasium.

Once the work began, though, the tasks turn to fun and it’s almost as if the students forgot they were learning.

VunCannon reviewed Newton’s Laws of Motion and discussed, defined and demonstrated acceleration, mass, force and net force in a way the children could quickly understand.

On the first task, students were separated into teams of three. Using a ramp, building blocks and a toy car, the goal was to create a situation in which the car would go downhill and then be stopped. The trick, though, was in using as few of the building blocks as possible.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Students use a hover puck and a rubber band to learn about  mass and acceleration.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Students use a hover puck and a rubber band to learn about mass and acceleration.

The trio of Taphet Phonchone, Breonikia McKoy and Cheyenne McDonald accomplished the task by using only two blocks — one to elevate the ramp ever so slightly, and a second to bring the car to a sudden stop at the end of the ramp.

Babashanian said the 45-minute program would be used as an introduction to a new block of instruction in her classroom.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

Filed in: Education, Ellerbe/Norman, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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