This week is Science Week around Australia, so we have planned some extra hands-on learning activities. This student is measuring the mass of her sports shoe, in grams and Newtons, for an experiment to test the co-efficients of friction of various surfaces. We use a spring balance to measure the static and sliding friction of the shoe on three different surfaces (carpet, vinyl and asphalt). Students compare their results of shoes with different tread patterns and discuss which sports require shoes with high and low coefficients of friction. Football boots and netball shoes require ‘grippy’ shoes, while ten-pin bowling and ice-skating require ‘slippy’ shoes. (This activity is adapted from “Measurement in Sport”, produced by the National Standards Commission, and reproduced by “Scientriffic“)
The CSIRO have provided hundreds of do-it-yourself science activities you could try for Science Week – Here are some Physics activities, Chemistry activities and Technology projects. Also, the New Zealand government education department has some interactive science games to improve earth science and environmental education.