The kindergartners were introduced to our new Magnawall. The installation of the Magnawall is the “hook” for a STEM infused project created by Upper School Engineering instructor, Zack Moore, Lower School Science instructor, Clara Svedlund, and myself. What is the MagnaWall and what concepts does it teach? According to Kodo, the company responsible for creating it, “The Mag Wall is a unique platform for expanding creative play in your classroom or outdoors. Examine slope, cause & effect, momentum and gravity through hands on experimentation! The Magnawall was developed to provide a hands-on, minds-on, open-ended means for experiencing Newton’s Laws of Motion. When it comes to motion, Newton’s Three Laws summarize everything you need to know about teaching young children about how things move.
1. A moving object will keep moving in that direction until something physically pushes on it. So if the ball is rolling down the ramp and collides with something, its motion will change.
2. It takes more force to accelerate massive objects. If you placed a bowling ball on the ramp, its mass would be greater than the force pushing up from the ramp, which would cause the bowling ball to push the ramp down and probably hurt everyone’s feet. So don’t use a bowling ball! If you used a wooden ball on a ramp the forces pushing on the ball, coupled with the mass of the ball would make it move forward. If you used a tiny marble on the ramp, its small mass would cause it to accelerate down the ramp quickly, because it has much less force than the other forces at work.
3. The third law refers to action and reaction pairs. My force is pushing down on the floor as the floor’s force is pushing up on me. So goes the same for the ball. It is pushing down on the ramp and the ramp is pushing up on it.”
Students explored the different pieces in preparation for the cross-age level learning that will take place next week.
It was a great exercise in listening to a partner’s ideas and sharing construction ideas.