Leave the science experiments for the kids to ‘wreck’

This week I made a wave machine out of hundreds of Jelly Babies and skewers balanced of duct tape with my class. The machine took a lot of time and patience to make.

I could have taken the experiment down at the end of the day.

But instead left it up for the kids to play with.

Naturally, they tested the machine’s limit. They accidentally twister a section of the tape and a few couldn’t resit the urge to eat some of the candy.

Yet by leaving the leaving the machine up the children could see:

  • By lifting the jelly babies higher, they could make a higher wave
  • By jiggling the machine more quickly, there were more shorter waves
  • When the mass was removed the wave was faster.
  • The pulse moved a lot faster in the shorter section of the tape than the longer one.
  • That the more you twist the tape before letting it go,  the more energy is released.
  • That you could let two pulses go at the same time.

Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away, notice and name when phenomena occur and let the destruction become part of the learning.

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