Teaching Forces – A Time Traveler Mystery

What do teaching forces, momentum, particle physics, art and history have in common? Well, right now, they are all in a new Rosie lab! I showed this painting my daughter did at our astronomy club as part of a cool science project and her teacher was so excited. It will fit perfectly with a Jackson Pollock unit they are doing in May, with the added bonus of teaching forces and momentum while getting messy!

homeschool science teaching forces with paintCue stress mode! I was tempted to just throw a lab together for this, but I just can’t. I so firmly believe that we need to make every story a mystery or problem to solve. After some brainstorming with my better half, I think we have a winner: Rosie Research and the Time Travelers!

Rosie will use “particle physics” to help two time travelers trace out the shape of a missing piece. How? They will make a marble accelerator, shoot paint covered marbles at the mystery piece and at the same time make a Jackson Pollock piece of art!


How is this teaching forces?

Forces are how objects interact with each other. In the lower elementary grades we look at forces as pushes and pulls. In this fun home science lab we see forces in many ways. We see the force of the compressed spring on the marble, the force of the unknown shape changing the marbles path and even the force of paint slowing the marble down!

How does particle physics come into this you ask? Well, particle physics is all about smashing things at each other, looking at the result, and trying to figure out what sorts of things were there. It just so happens that in particle physics we smash together protons and find electrons, muons and more in the aftermath. Here we will smash marbles at an unknown shape, and look at reflections and blank space to figure out what the missing piece looks like!

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