May the Force Be With You

As part of Movement Magic Inquiry, Room 2 has been exploring the invisible forces that are all around us. Students have been learning through hands-on experiments such as making and testing spinners, friction towers and rockets.

Read More

Our first investigation came from a wondering many students had: 

Why do fidget spinners spin for so long? This led Room 2 to discuss what surfaces objects can spin on for the longest amount of time? We thought this was a scientific question worth investigating. 

Step 1 was for students to build their own spinners. 

Step 2, was to come up with a way of testing the spinners on surfaces. We decided to test our spinners on a range of surfaces and time how long they spun for. Before we started testing though, we had to make a hypothesis about what surface we thought might be the best and worst and discuss why. To do this, we ranked the surfaces we would test from 1-7 for the best surface to the worst. 

Lilees hypothesis

I think it will spin longest on the wooden floor because it is smooth and hard. I think it will spin the shortest on the bark because it isn't smooth


Vinyl worked best for me because it was smooth. Smooth surfaces have less friction.

My marble didn't spin as long as the others because it wasn’t as smooth. It made more friction.

Having touched on friction already, we decided to explore this further through friction towers

I challenged students by asking them if they thought I could apply enough force to a stack of coins with a butter knife, to knock a coin out but keep the stack standing?

We discussed if this was even possible? This led us to our scientific question to investigate: What materials work the best when trying to force them out with a butter knife? The class tested a range of materials including dice, coins, one’s blocks and counters.

The coins worked the best for us because the surface of the coins weren’t fully touching each other because the sides of the coins were raised. This made the coins slide out from the stack easier.

The square counters worked best because they were smooth and flat.

Riley used just the right amount of force to get the best results.
If students used too much force, some of the stacks fell apart.

The dice and ones blocks didn't work because they were too big and had too far to fall.

2024 Morehu

Paul Morehu

I am from Christchurch but moved to Taupō at the end of 2018. I am passionate about travelling with my most memorable trip being to Egypt. I also love keeping fit through sport, the gym and just getting out and exploring the outdoors.

I have been a qualified teacher working in New Zealand since 2013. Prior to that, I spent 8 years in Hong Kong working with Chinese children in primary schools.

I decided to pursue a career in teaching because I loved the idea of making a difference in the world by helping children learn and develop as people. It is rewarding to see the progress children make and to be a part of their learning journeys.

Comments are disabled for this post.

Ready to enrol now? It's risk free