Stacy Molter: Exploring Science in Motion

One of my favorite perks of homeschooling is being able to immerse our kids in hands-on STEM learning, whether we’re on-site at an educational center or in our homeschool classroom. If you’re short on ideas for a hands-on learning activity in your classroom, visiting an educational center like Discovery Cube LA may be what you need to jump-start your own creative thinking.Exploring Science in Motion: Rolling Resistance

See also: Crime Scene Science – How to Dust for Fingerprints, Discovery Cube LA Opens New Exhibits

Today, we’re taking a tips we learned during a recent visit to Discovery Cube LA’s Science in Motion exhibit to study friction at home with this fun Rolling Resistance Experiment. What is friction? Friction is a force that resists motion between two objects when they come in contact with one another.

Exploring Science in Motion: Rolling Resistance

Exploring Science in Motion: Rolling Resistance

 

Don’t miss Discovery Cube LA’s Science in Motion, now through Sept. 11th, and Dora & Diego’s: Let’s Explore, now through Sept. 18th, before they’re gone!
EXPLORING SCIENCE IN MOTION – ROLLING RESISTANCE EXPERIMENT
Supplies:

Piece of sturdy cardboard or wood (size really isn’t all that important, but you want it to be at least 4” wide and 12” long)
Stack of hard cover books that add up to about 4” high (again, total height isn’t all that important, but you don’t want it to be too much higher or shorter than 4”)
Roll of wax paper
Roll of foil
Small ball or balls, such as tennis ball, baseball, bouncing ball, etc.
Masking tape
Stop watch
Measuring tape or ruler
Scrap paper
Pencil
Directions:

1. Create your ground surface by placing the top of the wood or cardboard near the edge of the stack of books.

2. Place a mark with a piece of tape on the ground at the bottom of your ramp. This will tell you where to position the ramp if it moves during your experiment, and will serve as the mark to stop the stopwatch at the end of the experiment. You may also want to mark a starting line to assure your ball releases at the same point each time.

3. Next, place the ball in the same spot near the top of the ramp, holding it in place. Swiftly lift your hand (do not push the ball), allowing the ball to roll down on its own. Note: If the ball seems to roll down the ramp too quickly or slowly, adjust the height of the ramp by adding or removing a book or books.

4. Create a chart to record your data. It might look something like this, but you can set it up however you would like this:

exploring-science-in-motion-rolling-resistance-results

5. While holding the stopwatch, time how long it takes for the ball to travel down the ramp and hit the lower mark. Record the time on your chart.

6. Repeat the previous step twice, so you have a total of three trials using the cardboard surface for your ramp.

7. Cover your ramp with foil, taping it into place. Put the ramp in the same position you had it before (just behind the masking tape on the floor) and test how long it takes for your ball to travel down the ramp to the mark three times. Record the data in your chart.

Exploring Science in Motion: Rolling Resistance

8. Repeat this process a third time, but this time covering the ramp with wax or parchment paper.

Exploring Science in Motion: Rolling Resistance

9. Average the amount of seconds required for the ball to roll down the ramp for each surface. Calculate the speed of the ball by dividing the distance traveled by the average number of seconds needed.

Examine your results. Which surface did you initially think would be the fastest surface? Which surface actually proved to be the fastest?

Have fun with your experiment by adding additional elements and chart the outcomes.

– If you have a long area to do the experiment, create a distance experiment to see how far the ball travels with each surface.

– Without changing the length or height of the ramp, how could you modify it further and continue your investigation?

– Can you find a way to put “pot holes” in your ramp? Speed bumps? Something that might represent gravel or sand?

What were our results? You can find them below. As you can see, our third trials were the fastest. Can you guess why by looking at our photos? Well, we did our experiment outside on a windy day. If you do your experiment outdoors as well, don’t forget to factor in the weather.

 

exploring-science-in-motion-rolling-resistance-results

ABOUT DISCOVERY CUBE LA
Discovery Cube LA is located at 11800 Foothill Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91342. To learn more about Discovery Cube LA, their location and hours, and their current events, visit http://la.discoverycube.org/.

We were invited by Discovery Cube LA to be an official Discovery Cube Mom Ambassador. Portions of the material and expenses for this event have been provided courtesy of Discovery Cube LA. All opinions are our own.

Stacy Molter: Discovery Cube LA Opens New Exhibits

This past weekend Discovery Cube LA debuted not one, but two brand new exhibits geared towards children of all ages to enhance their natural curiosity and imagination about the world around them. The two new exhibits, Dora & Diego: Let’s Explore! and SPEED: Science in Motion, run now through early September 2016.

Discovery Cube LA Dora and Diego and SPEED

See also: Take an Educational, Science Based Field Trip to Discovery Cube LAThe Perfect Summer Day Trip to Discovery Cube LA and Hansen Dam Recreation Area

And, if science is your thing, sign up for Discovery Cube LA’s summer camp to take advantage of all that their inventive exhibits have to offer!

DISCOVERY CUBE LA OPENS NEW EXHIBITS

DORA AND DIEGO: LET’S EXPLORE!

Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! takes visitors on an active adventure in the enchanting world of Dora the Explorer with her animal-rescuing cousin Diego, and their friends. Explore Isa’s Flowery Garden, help Tico gather nuts, join the Pirate Piggies’ crew to uncover pirate treasure, and help baby animals in the Rainforest Maze.

  • The Purple Planet – Visit the Purple Planet with Dora and Boots! A Purple Planet home invites young visitors to climb inside and slide down on the surface of the Purple Planet.
  • Rocket Ship – Dora’s outer-space friends want to go back to the Purple Planet and need help getting there. Aboard the Rocket Ship, preschoolers are invited to put on a spacesuit, pilot the ship, and test their memory with images of colorful planets as they help Dora and Boots take their outer-space friends home.
  • Constellations – On the way to the Purple Planet, Dora and Boots encounter some interesting star groupings. Children and their families are invited to help identify the patterns made out of stars by inserting star shapes to light up a constellation.

Take a tour of the new Dora & Diego: Let’s Explore! exhibit below.

Don’t miss our children’s favorite busy time activity of helping Tico gather nuts.

 

And of course, climbing Jaguar mountain.

Zumba with Dora – Get Fit with Dora June 4 – 5, 2016

Don’t miss your chance to dance with Dora the Explorer during Zumba with Dora – Get Fit Weekend sponsored by Anthem Bluecross. Join Dora and a certified Zumba instructor for the ultimate Zumba dance session at the Cube. Make your way through the Dora & Diego: Let’s Explore! exhibit and then learn about healthy living by having fun and staying active with dancing.

Join the dance session June 4 – June 5 at 1:45pm, 2:45pm, and 4:15pm.

SPEED: SCIENCE IN MOTION

Rev up your engines during SPEED: Science in Motion at Discovery Cube LA from May 28 to September 11, 2016. SPEED replicates the high-octane action of the Formula 1 race track, complete with pit lane, workshop and physical testing environments. This immersive experience is designed to unravel the cutting edge science and technology behind professional motor sports. Visitors can challenge themselves through hands-on exhibits and displays, to see if they have the skills, fitness and reactions to race at over 200km/hour.

Visitors can explore three areas to test their skills and learn what it takes to become a Formula One racer. Exhibit areas include:

  • The Workshop –Explore the science behind Formula One cars and learn about the engines, aerodynamics, and motion.
  • The Fitness Testing Area – Drivers can test their skill levels using anticipation, reaction time, peripheral vision and heart rate exhibits to see if they have what it takes to become a professional Formula One driver.
  • The Race Track – Trainee drivers can test their driving skills in a race simulator, change a tire under Formula One conditions, or compete against another driver in a virtual race.

Take a tour of the new SPEED: Science in Motion exhibit below.

You can even have a fun little competition on the pedal cars.

 

ABOUT DISCOVERY CUBE LA

Discovery Cube LA is located at 11800 Foothill Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91342. To learn more about Discovery Cube LA, their location and hours, and their current events, visit http://la.discoverycube.org/.

We were invited by Discovery Cube LA to be an official Discovery Cube Mom Ambassador. Portions of the material and expenses for this event have been provided courtesy of Discovery Cube LA. All opinions are our own.

Stacy Molter: Explore Impossible Science Experiments with Discovery Cube LA

Explore Impossible Science Experiments with Discovery Cube LA‘s Impossible Science Lab exhibit running now through March 27th.

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

IMPOSSIBLE SCIENCE LAB WITH DISCOVERY CUBE LA

The Impossible Science Lab at Discovery Cube LA is all about exploring the science behind the seemingly impossible. Join curator of Impossible Science, Jason Latimer, for this unbelievable event as you learn how to turn objects invisible, explore levitation and even learn how to walk on water!

 

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

 

The Impossible Science Lab is available daily 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. only at Discovery Cube Los Angeles.

EXPLORING IMPOSSIBLE SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS

The Invisibility Exhibit

Explore how the property of refraction can be used to magnify a droplet of water.

 

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

Bend Light

Learn how to seemingly bend light with water.

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

Battery Powered Screw

Can you make a magnet and screw spin with a battery?

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

Blow a Square Bubble

Yes, you can blow a square bubble. (Or, just have fun blowing LARGE bubbles!)

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

 

Penny Battery

Turn a penny into a battery.

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

And our kid’s favorite, Walking on Water.

Learn about Oobleck, and how the different viscosity of liquids can allow you to walk on water.

Impossible Science at Discovery Cube LA

 

Check out more from Jason Latimer himself and his Impossible Science Lab as he challenges us to see beyond the answers, and roll water into an object.

ABOUT DISCOVERY CUBE LA

Discovery Cube LA is located at 11800 Foothill Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91342. To learn more about Discovery Cube LA, their location and hours, and their current events, visit http://la.discoverycube.org/.

We were invited by Discovery Cube LA to be an official Discovery Cube Mom Ambassador. Portions of the material and expenses for this event have been provided courtesy of Discovery Cube LA. All opinions are our own.

Stacy Molter: Science of Gingerbread at Discovery Cube LA

Stacy Molter: Science of Gingerbread
at Discovery Cube LA


There’s a science to building the perfect gingerbread house, and Discovery Cube LA is back with their annual holiday exhibit to help you learn how to build a gingerbread house that can survive the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Discovery-Cube-LA-The-Science-of-Gingerbread-Exhibit-3

HOW TO BUILD A GINGERBREAD HOUSE – THE SCIENCE OF GINGERBREAD AT DISCOVERY CUBE LA

Did you know there is a science behind building the perfect gingerbread house? There is, and Discovery Cube LA is featuring their annual holiday exhibit to teach you the basics of gingerbread house building.

Here are 5 tips on building the perfect gingerbread house we learned from Discovery Cube LA at their ‘The Science of Gingerbread’ exhibit.

Foundation and Support – You need a strong foundation. Before beginning the construction of a gingerbread house, find a solid, sturdy base to build your structure on. Foundations don’t need to be edible, but they should be easy to transport. Great foundations include wood, cardboard, and thick plastic.
Icing – Without a good sturdy icing, the walls will fall. The icing on a gingerbread house is perfect to make the house look like it is covered in snow, but this special combination of powdered sugar and egg whites actually acts like glue, or mortar, holding the pieces of gingerbread together. Every time two pieces of gingerbread are attached using royal icing, it is important to give the ‘glue’ plenty of time two dry before adding another piece.
Walls – Building walls to withstand an earthquake! After mixing your batter, and baking the walls, you may notice the shape and size of each piece has changed slightly. This is because the gingerbread dough expanded during baking. An easy way to remove any extra bulges in your walls is to put your cardboard stencil on top of each baked wall, re-cutting the edges with a pizza cutter. Your walls will once again be straight and will be easy to assemble with icing.
Roof – Patience is the key to the perfect gingerbread house. Building gingerbread houses takes time and patience. Give the royal icing at least a few hours to dry before adding the roof and decorations. This will help the roof stay on top of the house. Adding shingles such as sticks of gum, cereal, chocolate, or even peppermint candies can help the house look more realistic, but be careful not to add too much weight.

Visit Discovery Cube LA today to learn more about the science behind building gingerbread houses.

GET INSPIRED TO BUILD SOMETHING AMAZING!

Get inspired to create something amazing from local families and businesses from throughout Southern California who have entered their prized houses in the annual gingerbread building competition. The gingerbread houses are on display for all to see throughout the event.

Take a look at some of our favorite gingerbread houses currently on display:

Discovery-Cube-LA-The-Science-of-Gingerbread-Exhibit-11 Discovery-Cube-LA-The-Science-of-Gingerbread-Exhibit-8 Discovery-Cube-LA-The-Science-of-Gingerbread-Exhibit-7 Discovery-Cube-LA-The-Science-of-Gingerbread-Exhibit-6

You can even find Bailey riding on his Zamboni!

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And what’s a science exhibit without The Periodic Table of Ornaments?

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We also fell in love with these gorgeous snowflakes around the event! They are simply stunning!
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VISIT SANTA AND TRY YOUR HAND AT BUILDING A RACE CAR

In addition to learn how to build the perfect gingerbread house, kids can meet Santa and take a photo with him and decorate cookies on the weekends. Kids can also make a gingerbread race car with supplies from Discovery Cube LA and challenge their family and friends to race down a giant race track reminiscent of a Hot Wheel track.

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If you’re not sure what type of race car to build, you can get inspiration from some of the prototypes Discovery Cube LA has on hand.

Discovery-Cube-LA-The-Science-of-Gingerbread-Exhibit-22Discovery-Cube-LA-The-Science-of-Gingerbread-Exhibit-21

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Let the races begin!

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As with every friendly competition though, some will survive and some won’t.

The Science of Gingerbread exhibit runs from November 27, 2015 – January 3, 2016 from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. You can meet Santa and take your photo with him on November 27-29, December 5-6, December 12-13, December 19-24, 2015 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.