This week in STEM club, we experiments with weight and balance. Kindergartners explore the concept of counter weights by adding pipe cleaners and pop-tops to popsicle sticks to allow them to balance on their fingers. This idea carried over to how our arms and hands allow us to counter balance our bodies when keeping out balance, and to our seesaw scales as we compared the weight of different objects. We also explored how the height of a tower effects it ability to balance as we stacked rocks and blocks.
Today we had a lot of failure opportunties with balance. (Balancing is HARD!) So our facilitators focused on the question of "What could you do differently?" This allowed for the reflection on a past iteration and expressing intentionality about the next iteration. It also encouraged our kiddos to try again and problem solve, but with such engaging and physical challenges they needed little encouragement for a second try.
Materials we used
- Landscaping Rocks
- Pipe cleaners, poptops, popsicle sticks
- foam blocks
- Children's balances
- See saw style scales
- Materials to weigh (washers, paperclips, beads, rocks, pompoms)
What we read
This week we read Look! by Jeff Mack and Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh. The kids loved the funny antics of Look! which lead into a great conversation of what it was possible to balance (a popsicle stick on your finger?) and what we could do to make it easier. We also spent a lot of time trying to balance on 1 foot, our hands, our head?!
Most of our kids today drew pictures of their popsicle balancer. There was a TON of pride and fascination in making the stick balance on their tiny fingers.