We have been hosting some fun open-ended programs that the whole family can do together which can easily be replicated at home.
Build a Boat
Can you build a boat that floats? Use recycled materials, things from outside, and whatever else you can dream of. Take it further by trying to build a boat out of heavy materials, have the boat carry something, or put the boat in running water.
Things to think about:
What is Buoyancy?
Boats, canoes, ships, kayaks, and rafts all have one thing in common- they are used for transport on seas and rivers, because they float. It’s easy to figure out that if they are made out of wood they will float, because wood floats in water. However, when you see a huge cargo ship or a cruise-liner that looks like a floating building on the water, you can’t help but wonder why this massive chunk of metal doesn’t sink.
The Archimedes principle
A long time ago in ancient Greece, a mathematician named Archimedes was taking a bath. When he got in, a certain amount of water got displaced and overflowed over the rim of the tub. Archimedes figured out that if the weight of the object being placed in the water is less that the weight of the water displaced, the object will float. This is known as buoyancy or the Archimedes principle.
How ships float
A ship made out of metal is able to remain lighter than the amount of water it displaces, because it is not a complete solid. The very bottom of the ship, called the hull, is hollow and therefore adds support to the ship without adding any mass.
When a ship is fully loaded, there is a maximum amount of weight it can carry before the weight of the ship increases past the amount of water it displaces.
Using materials you find around the house, can you make a wrapping that will protect an egg when dropped from a great height (ie your window? Your stairs? A tree?)?
Things to think about:
What is Gravity?
Gravity is a powerful force that has a fundamental impact on the way we live our lives. Even walking, which we take for granted, is not possible without gravity. Gravity provides the necessary downward force on our bodies which creates friction between our feet and the ground, allowing us to walk (push our body weight forward with one leg and then the other).
When other forces are combined with gravity, such as motion (the movement of an object), inertia (the tendency of an object to resist change with regard to movement based on its mass), or power (the ability to exert energy over time), it may be impossible to prevent an impact which will cause damage.
Force = Mass times acceleration. The egg will accelerate based on the pull of gravity. How much it accelerates depends on the height from which the egg was dropped and the mass of the egg and protector. Force will increase with larger masses and higher heights.
What is momentum?
Momentum is a measure of an object’s tendency to move at constant speed along a straight path. Momentum depends on speed and mass.
What is acceleration?
Acceleration is how much your speed changes in a certain amount of time.
What is impact?
Impact is the high force (or shock) applied over a short period of time when 2 or more objects collide (like an egg and the floor). The effect depends on the relative velocity (or speed).
Family Self Portraits
Using collage or other art materials, capture an image of yourself. Then, cut out your art piece out and put it together with your family's images to create a portrait of everyone! Supplies could include scraps of paper, pencils, pens, mirrors, glue, and more.
Things to think about
What is a self- portrait?
A self-portrait is an artistic representation of yourself! Who do you think you are? Who do other people see you as? What are some things that inspire you?
What is collage?
Collage is the technique of using images or materials that are pre-made and arranging them any way you like! Examples are: cutting pictures out of a magazine or book, ripping or cutting colorful paper, etc.