Physics Lessons: Preschool – 5th grade
STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) lessons are adaptable to various developmental levels of students. Grades noted next to descriptions are mere recommendations.
Cars from the Future
Students will brainstorm alternate ways to power a vehicle to reduce emissions. Student teams will design an eco-friendly car using the engineering design process and make a presentation to showcase their product.
2 class periods recommended.
Density & Surface Tension
Students will observe physical properties and learn why some objects float and others sink. They will determine if size or weight is the determining factor of an object sinking or floating.
Students will learn about different types of energy and their uses through hands-on activities.
Student teams will be challenged to navigate a table tennis ball through a timed obstacle course using only the provided unconventional “tools.” Teams act as engineers by working through the steps of the engineering design process to complete the overall task, with each group member responsible to accomplish one of the obstacle course challenges.
Gravitational, Potential and Kinetic Energy (Dropper Poppers & Tracks!)
Students will observe, compare and contrast elastic, potential and kinetic energy through a series of experiments.
Gravity - The Mystery Force
Students explore the effects of gravity on ping-pong balls through various experiments.
Students will make their own mini hovercraft using a CD and a balloon and investigate how the amount of air in the balloon affects how long the hovercraft hovers.
Inquiry and Engineering Gliders
Student teams will implement the engineering design process and design, build and test small-sized gliders to maximize flight distance.
Lego Balloon Car!
Students will study velocity by designing and testing a Lego Balloon car.
Students will examine properties of a voltaic battery with simple experiments.
Students will perform experiments to determine if magnetic force can travel through different mediums.
Students will construct a marshmallow catapult and experiment with trajectory.
Matter Matters! – Solids, liquids and gases
Students will experiment with solids, liquids and gases to study phases of matter.
Potential and Kinetic Energy (Tracks!)
Students will demonstrate turning potential energy in to kinetic energy by creating an obstacle course track for a ball.
Rough Road Friction
Students will determine which textures cause the most friction of objects traveling down a ramp.
Science of Ice Cream
Students will study chemistry by making ice cream.
Students construct a working solar oven and learn about solar energy.
Space and Magnetism
Students will learn about earth’s magnetosphere and the impact it has on earth.
Students will design vehicles to explore how elastic potential energy from twisted rubber bands can roll the spools. They brainstorm, prototype, modify, test and redesign variations to the basic spool racer design in order to meet different design criteria.
Students will explore air pressure, Newton’s laws of motion, mass, gravity by constructing working stomp rockets.
Swing Low (Pendulums)
Students will investigate the factors that affect the speed and duration of a pendulum’s swing.
Tennis Ball Lift
Students will implement the engineering design process and construct a simple machine.
Thermal Energy (Glow Sticks)
Students will perform experiments using thermal energy to create a chemical reaction to demonstrate luminescence and fluorescence energy.
Students will learn about circuits by implementing the engineering design process and making their own vibrating robot.
Waves of Sound
Students will discover that sound is a form of energy that moves in waves and experiment with “seeing” and hearing sound waves.
Wings and Other Flying Things
Students will perform experiments to study drag and aerodynamics.