Scientific concept: When scientists do experiments where they have to change variables it is always important to have a control - the original that you can compare your new models to. If you don't have a control how will you know if the changes you make or for the better or actually making it slower or weaker? The other thing we looked at was only changing one thing at a time. If we change lots of things all together how will we know if they are all for the best?
To help support this concept of having a control we made a helicopter out of paper and labelled it as our control. Once we had our control made we could start changing things on the original to try and make it faster or slower. We looked at changing the blades, the weights with the paperclips and the length of the base to see how this changed the descension. After making many variables we had a cmpetition at the end to see who had made the fastest and slowest helicopters.
Scientific concept: Newton's first law states 'an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force'.
To help us understand this law we started by looking at the diver experiment. When a coin is put on top of a cardboard loop on a jar and the loop is taken away, what happens to the coin?
Some students thought it would land on the table, others in the jar and some thought it would stay on the paper. When the loop was taken away we could observe that the coin dropped straight down. This is what Newton's law tell us - the hoop moved so fast that the coin didn't have the friction of an outside force acting on it so it went straight down.
To help us understand this more and learn hands on we made our own inertia towers where we could take pieces of card away quickly so that the blocks and cups didn't feel the outside force of movement. Well done to Lakia who managed a tower of 5 blocks still standing after pulling away the card!