Physics, the study of matter and how it behaves in the universe. There are several branches of physics which include but are certainly not limited to, relativity, quantum mechanics, cosmology and thermodynamics. Many children are fascinated by the concepts of physics at an early age but make no mistake, this is rocket science.
The key to getting kids to further explore their natural curiosity is to make it fun. This is easy enough if you use just a little ingenuity and imagination. Here are a few fun ways to demonstrate your child how physics forces work.
The force that keeps us firmly on the ground and not floating around like astronauts. This concept can be demonstrated by having your child hold two objects, for example, a baseball and a grape. Have them hold the items above their head and release them at the same time. Regardless of the weight difference between the two objects they will hit the ground at the same time. Even a bowling ball and an egg will land simultaneously. Keep in mind that things like balloons and feathers experience air resistance that hinder their descent (although, in a perfect vacuum any two objects will fall at the same rate).
Action / Reaction
As we all learned in elementary school science every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Fill a two-liter bottle about 1/3rd of the way with vinegar. With the bottle laying on it’s side, drop a pre-prepared ball of tissue that contains about a teaspoon of baking soda. Quickly cork the bottle. The mixture will soon begin to bubble and fizz when suddenly “boom”, the cork pops and the bottle skitters across the lawn. While this experiment is fun, your kids will need a more profound understanding of complex reactions happening in the world around us. Obtaining professional physics tuition will be a good way to ensure they learn all these complexities broken down to simple concepts.
Demonstrate how simple air pressure and the adhesion of water molecules can keep water from pouring out of an overturned glass. Simply fill a small glass halfway with water. Place an index card over the top of the glass. Hold firm pressure on the card as you turn the glass upside down. Carefully remove the card. Jaws will hit the floor as the water magically stays in the overturned glass.
Density of Different Liquids
In a clear glass jar carefully pour about one inch of corn syrup, then add equal amounts of rubbing alcohol, water and vegetable oil in that order. Pour each ingredient slowly as not to disturb the previous layer. The liquids will not mix but remain in place. Experiment by dropping different small objects (bb’s, jewelry etc.) and see how far each sink.
Remove the staple from a dry teabag. Empty the contents so you have just a tube of paper. Twist one end of the tube and stand upright, twisted end up. With a match light the top of the teabag and as it burns watch your little rocket rise several feet in the air.
Encourage your young ones to study science. There are literally dozens of examples encountered in every day of your life. Point out these encounters to your children. Kids are naturally inquisitive, nurture their passion and make it excited and interesting for them. Who knows, you may be the parent of the next Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein.