We finished answering our question about how temperature affects elasticity with a bouncy ball experiment. First, we dove into creating an experiment and the pieces we need to make them effective. Then, students tested to see which bouncy ball bounced highest. The one in ice water, the one in boiling water, or our control at room temperature.
Students discovered that the warmer bouncy ball bounced higher, and the cold bounced the lowest. Together, we also discussed which experiment was better for testing the effects of temperature on elasticity, this week's or last week's.
On Wednesday we talked about the Challenger disaster incident, but most importantly about the famous scientist, Richard Feynman, who used a basic experiment (exactly like ours) to prove that the elastic O-ring was the cause of failure. That the freezing temperatures on launch day led to less elasticity and then a leak. The moment led to major changes in the space program.
I hope students take away that even the simplest of experiments can be just as important as the most complex ones.
Students continued to work on their catapults. We'll finish them next week and then have some fun, of course! The creek was a big hit during recess this week and although many of us, myself included, came back with a few scrapes on Friday, the smiles that came with them were the best!