Total Pageviews

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Archimedes Screw

Mr. Finn is great to watch when he's teaching. He's so engaging and humorous, not to mention he really knows his stuff, especially when it comes to Science. So, I was really looking forward to today's lesson because he was working on these contraptions all weekend. Archimedes screws. The kids were baffled when he brought these things out. Screws are difficult to really comprehend as a simple machine and since they have to include the simple machines in their Rube Goldberg experiments, Mr. Finn has been doing some mini-lessons on the tougher ones, helping the kids to broaden their minds about how they could include them.
So then he gets the water out. And the kids get the big eyes, like, "What in the world is gonna happen next?!" Cause you never know with Mr. Finn. Well, he asks them what they think will happen. And some answers pop out because they know mentally that the screw is moving things, but they can't wrap their brains around the fact that it could actually be moving the water UPHILL. So, he starts to twist...and twist...and twist. Suddenly water spurts out of the top and Seth screams as he's sitting right next to the spraying water and they're all laughing and watching in awe. It. Was. Awesome. Cadin immediately asked, "How?" He wanted to know how it works. Seth said, "It's magic."
Then he gets the larger tubing. They all gasp. Their hypothesis was correct...MORE water came out. More screaming, lots of it.
After Mr. Finn pulled the screw out of the water he asked the kids what would happen and they said, "There's still water in it?" Mr. Finn asked, "Where is the water?" And Teressa pointed to the bottoms of all the loops. "Yes. So, how many turns will still pour out water?" Teressa immediately counted the loops, "Six." Then they tried it out. Six it was. They were starting to get it, but they were still blown away. It was like, seeing it with their own eyes, they just could not totally believe it.

So, Mr. Finn got an external visual for them. A marble, butted up against wooden blocks, sitting within the coils of the screw. "What will happen to this marble?" Tyler, the kindergartener: "It's gonna move!" Mr. Finn: "Where is it going to go?" The kids start to point toward Mr. Finn as he begins turning the screw. The marble starts traveling toward Mr. Finn and they all watch, mesmerized. This is why I love, love, love Science so much. It's these miraculous things that bring out this sense of wonder either of the natural world, the universe, or how things work that just make learning so engaging and delightful. It also helps to have a teacher like Mr. Finn. So, how does the Archimedes screw work? I'm with Seth: Magic.

No comments:

Post a Comment