Park Science Experiments: Friction

As the weather gets nicer, I’m trying to get out as much as possible. We recently took our science to the park. We read a book about friction and the decided to test it out. Our experiment was to see if we could slow down or speed up a quarter by putting different materials on the slides. Then we raced the quarters down the slides to see if the materials made a difference. We tried it with a regular slide, wax paper, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil.




It turned out that the wax paper made the quarter go the fastest. The plastic wrap and aluminum foil slowed down the quarter. We learned that plastic wrap and aluminum foil create more friction. Wax paper creates less friction.


It was a super fun science experiment. Then my homeschool students wanted to try it out with themselves. They each slid down trying the plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and wax paper. Mostly, they took each material with them on their way, so it wasn’t effective with human bodies. But, we did attract a park crowd. A lot of the kids wanted to try it out. My cherubs also took a bug book to the park to try to identify bugs. As we were turning over rocks the other park goers were very interested in what we were doing. It gave the other moms at the park a chance for a break since their kids were occupied with us! And I got to hang out with other people’s kids, since I’m horrible at “mom talk”. I use my kids to avoid that at all costs. I usually say something awkward or make an inappropriate sarcastic joke and then feel like I want to crawl under a rock. Social situation avoided, play and learning = a win-win for everyone at the park on this day.


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