Monday, January 30, 2012

Movement as a Science

Children are naturally curious. This allows for many opportunities to engage in science concepts at a very young age. Did you know that lessons in physics can start as soon as a child begins to push or pull at an object? The result of pushing or pulling is a basic lesson in energy, force and motion. Similar lessons are learned about scientific principles such as inclined planes and friction as well as balance. Children can learn these concepts at the park, at home or, here, at the Museum.

While at the park or at home, energy, force and motion are experienced directly by kicking or throwing a ball or even by the simple act of walking. The child can gain a better understanding of inclined planes by sliding down a slide. A parent or caregiver can add an awareness of friction by asking, “How does your clothing affect how you slide down? What material might make you slide slower? Faster?” A sense of balance can be gained by sitting on a swing or a see saw, “What happens when you lean back or lean forward? When your weight is shifted to either side? What happens when you are sitting up straight?”

On your next visit to the museum, why not play with some of the exhibits that help children learn these scientific principles? Our WaterWays exhibit and Kidnetic Motion Machine can aid in an understanding of energy, force and motion. Our Make It Move exhibit stimulates learning of inclined planes and friction. Learn about balance by stacking weighted blocks on each end of the Large Beam Balance exhibit. We look forward to seeing you!

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