Thursday, January 29, 2009

Physics: Friction

This week we revisited a concept we discussed earlier this year, FRICTION. The kids built inclined plane devices (that's fancy talk for a ramp and a protractor), and they measured the minimum angle necessary for a stationary 10 agurot piece to begin to move. The idea being, the steeper the angle necessary to get the coin moving, the greater the friction between the material and the coin. We compared wood, plastic cutting boards, styrofoam, binders, and cardboard.
Now before you start with your "what possible applications and practical value can this highly theoretical and esoteric research have for me in my every day life..." you should know that following this highly controlled experiment, the kids designed a related experiment they will carry out next week in the field: Sitting on which material makes YOU to go down the slide the fastest?
Stay tuned.

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