Physics is not just for high schoolers, our kindergarten students are also learning about the effects that force and motion have on the natural world. Young children love to move and to make things move, therefore this is the perfect age to capitalize on their natural interests in force and motion.
At Concordia, STEM, which integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is carried out using a hands-on approach that is developmentally appropriate and develops key skills, along with problem solving and creativity.
The current unit of study in kindergarten is all about force and motion. Teachers deliver integrated lessons that include: charts to visualize learning, sorting activities for reinforcement of learning, interactive read alouds, manipulatives and graphic organizers.
During their Forces and Motion science unit students learned:
- Forces are pushes and pulls that can change the speed or direction of the object.
- Scientists conduct investigations to determine the effects of a cause.
Several learning stations, equipped with materials for students to experiment, were set up for hands-on, trial and error uses of force and motion. These stations included ramps with various surfaces (e.g. smooth, bubble wrapped or carpeted), items that can be rolled along the floor or down a ramp, marshmallow shooters with targets for distance, and dominoes for demonstrating chain reactions. Students were encouraged to make notes of their observations and any questions they had during the experiments.
Essential questions helped to guide their investigations.
- How can we observe forces?
- How do forces affect objects?
- How do engineers design things to move?
Our kindergarteners also discussed their new knowledge in real life situations. They realized they can swing higher by pumping their legs or slide faster wearing smooth clothing, and ride their bikes down an incline without pedaling.
What parents can do to continue the learning.
To help keep the learning going outside of the classroom, parents should talk with their kindergarten child about their discoveries and help them observe and explore force and motion with activities at home in order to foster their love for physics!