Week 23 (4-17-17) Newton’s Laws of Motion

It’s all good news. But the first good news is that we’re finished with our rice experiment. Like finished-finished.

And maybe your rice has been long thrown out or long ignored–no matter. How we finished the experiment was by  walking through our final steps of the scientific method. Until now we had only observed and collected data. Or not done that.  Today we discussed our variables in the experiment and drew our conclusion. I doubt you’ll be surprised.

Our variables were many. Too many. Especially for an experiment that required consistent attention from the same person for a whole month.

And so as a result of our many inconsistencies–forgetting to speak to our rice, shaking our rice, having someone else speak to our rice, forgetting to record… our conclusion was impacted, making our conclusion at best: Inconclusive.

For those who would like to watch a completed rice experiment by someone else, you’ll easily find them by typing in “rice experiment” on youtube.

Now Newton’s Laws of Motion

First Law: An object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

What we’re showing here is our penny at rest.

Our penny remains at rest even when we quickly pull the piece of paper out from under it because we didn’t apply a force to the penny; we applied a force to the paper.

And so what happens is our “at rest” penny falls into the cup because the only force still acting upon it is gravity.

These guys are fast.

I’m sure the penny is in that cup.

Same, too, with the cups. If we apply a force only to the papers separating the cups from each other, then the “at rest” cups should…?


Only “fall” wasn’t really the word we were looking for.

If the conditions are right, the “at rest” cup should stack on top of the next one when the paper is pulled out.

Aha! It does.

As do all the cups!

If a cup is leaning before we start, it wants nothing to do with stacking on the one below it.

Can we do it again?



We can also demonstrate Newton’s first law of motion with two different eggs.

What each of us is holding is a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg.

And what we’re trying to determine is how to figure out which is which.

Is one heavier? Is one wobblier?

What happens when we spin them?

Our hard-boiled eggs spin fast and quick. Our raw eggs have a hard time even getting going. But how we can tell which is which is by stopping the motion of the spinning egg with our pointer finger.

When we put our finger to our hard-boiled egg, it stops. However, when we put our finger to our raw egg, it stops mostly, but then starts to spin again.

So what’s happening?

Our hard-boiled egg is of one part. When we apply a force to the outer shell, we’ve applied it essentially to the whole egg, and the whole egg stops.  The raw egg has more than one part. When we apply a force to the outer shell, the inner yolk still wants to spin.

The raw egg here is working much like our brain when we get off of a merry-go-round. Our body is on the ground, but our head is still spinning; it is still in motion.

Gosh. What to do with left over raw eggs.

We could watch them drop, I guess.

Or keep tossing and backing up with them until we’re standing on Hwy 512.

These guys…

Champs, for sure!

Ain’t nobody wanting to pick that up.

Here we are. Small but mighty today.

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