Students in 2nd grade love science time, and are thrilled to have started their latest science unit: Balance and Motion!
As part of this unit 2nd graders have the opportunity to engage in hands-on experiments to test out their learning. We started with a lesson on balance, counterbalance and counterweight. This hands-on activity involved using heavy paper in the shape of a crayfish and two clothespins. The goal was for each student to experiment with the placement of the clothespins to find the balancing point and balance the crayfish on the tip of their finger.
“Through trial and error, students (both in school and at home) discovered that if they placed the clothespins in just the right place, keeping in mind that they need to find the balancing point and adjust their counterweights, their experiments worked, what a thrill!” says teacher Rachel Klein.
Students recorded their experience in their science journals and also drew pictures of successful experiments in our journals.
"Our students thought about when they might see things balance and move in their life," adds teacher Sara Goldrath. "We brainstormed toys that balance and move and we watched a video of a man walking on a wire across the Grand Canyon! Students noted that the man was able to do it safely with the help of his counterweight.”
To experience the importance of counterbalance first hand, students tried standing up on one foot and balancing with their hands by their sides. Then they tried balancing on one foot with their arms out to compare what it is like with and without counterbalance.
As an extra challenge they tried balancing with their eyes closed!
“2nd graders love learning the scientific explanation behind activities they do every day" observes teacher Stephanie Shearer. "It helps them connect with science on a personal level!”