In a science lesson, third grade students in Chrissy D’Amico’s class built marshmallow shooters to explore force and motion.
The marshmallow shooters were made of PVC ring, a ball, tape and mini marshmallows, and the lesson was the introduction to their science unit: Forces and Interactions. Students were given an opportunity to create the shooters in an exploratory fashion to guide them into discovering what force is and how force can change motion. Students were able to then shoot the marshmallows to a partner and answer the following questions:
Q. How did you get the marshmallow to go?
A. We pulled on the balloon (force).
Q. Can you get it to go farther or shorter?
A. Yes, by pulling harder or pulling shorter.
Q. What are the two forces on the marshmallow?
A. A push and a pull—the pull on the balloon and a push from the balloon.
Students were very engaged, worked cooperatively, and are still talking about this assignment one month later.
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