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K-12 Science 2 Schools Traveling Science Programs: In School Demonstrations & Science on the Move

Program Title:
In School Demonstrations & Science on the Move
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL, United States
Geographical Area:
The nine county panhandle region west of Tallahassee, but will travel throughout the state.
General Description:
Presentations follow the motion forces and energy theme. Typically demos begin with some examples of linear motion. This is accomplished with the assistance of student volunteers who are subjected to different types of forces while seated on a Pasco kinesthetics cart. The cart can be pulled at a constant speed or accelerated at a constant rate by means of a 40 pound weight attached to a pulley system that is supported by a 10 ft. light-weight tripod. In each case the rider drops a bean bag as the rest of the class counts off the seconds. This illustrates the difference between linear motion under the influence of both balanced and unbalanced forces as well as inertia. From there the demos segue into linear and angular momentum - employing some of the old standard demo's. From momentum we can progress to demonstrations involving air pressure and get to the heart of air pressure in terms of molecular motion. A bell jar and vacuum pump, along with Madgeburg hemispheres are used to illustrate the concept a little further. The concept of kinetic energy is generally alluded to throughout these demo's in order to set up the question; How can air particles in a balloon be slowed so that their momenta are not as great and the internal pressure exerted on the balloon is decreased? This leads to a discussion of temperature, which can be demonstrated by dipping the balloon into liquid Nitrogen. There are many details and leading questions that I'm leaving out here, but the such a session generally runs from 60 to 90 minutes and provides a fairly seamless survey the key concepts governing motion, forces, and energy. There are also demo sets involving electricity and magnetism as well as waves. The lab units that we do with individual classes run the gamut from kinematics explorations to electrical circuits. Everything is designed in accordance with the learning cycle.
Area of Science:
Primarily physics
Target Grade Levels:
Target Group Size:
Conduct lab activities with groups of 30 or less. Also do demo sessions with larger groups as assembly programs and/or festivals.

The information contained in this page is accurate as of October, 2006.