Applied Science - Physics (2A)
 Post Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Investigating how things work.
  • Discovering that physics explains nature.

VOCABULARY:

  • electricity
  • energy
  • force
  • friction
  • physics
MATERIALS:
  • Internet
  • reference material
  • worksheet

Students explore everyday objects and how they work  

BACKGROUND:

Everywhere you look there are mechanical objects being used in our everyday lives. A pair of scissors, a can opener, a key alarm, or a lock are common. We have so many products now-a-days, that we sometimes forget to ask ourselves," How did that work?"

The science of physics with its explanation of electricity, magnetism, heat, mechanics, and other phenomena is very helpful in understanding these everyday objects. For instance, an ordinary lever keeps you safe at night (lock) or a simple wedge stops your pants from falling (zipper).

Children use everyday appliances and sometimes donít even think about how it works. We have so many gadgets in our society, that even if a child asks a parent how something works, they might not get an answer. Formulating the question, however is a first step in trying to find the answer.

PROCEDURE:

  1. For homework instruct students to find out how something at home uses "physics" to work. Use the enclosed worksheet to help the student work with a responsible person at home to derive an answer. This lab will generate many questions about how things work.
      
  2. Have students make a list of items from home. They should be simple items so the students can learn how they work. Give students ideas such as: How does a pair of scissors, or a nut and bolt work? What happens inside the shiny box of a dishwasher? What happens in an electric light bulb when you flick on the switch?
      
  3. Don't feel you have to know how an object works, ask people. It is so important for children to understand that if one person doesn't know the answer, they should keep asking until they find one who does. If you can't find someone who knows the answer, the child should start developing a "theory" of their own as to how the object might work. Someday, somewhere, the child will find the answer.
      
  4. You may want to use a childrenís search engine on the internet to find out how things work.

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