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Grade 2: Fast Cars & Physics

After learning new vocabulary words in science class, such as "force," "gravity," "friction," "Newton's Laws," "potential energy," and "kinetic energy," second graders' knowledge was put to the test through a physics design challenge!
Keeping their recent discoveries in mind, students were asked to build a ramp for a Hot Wheels car with a whiteboard and blocks. At first, the ramps were only one block high, eventually growing to four blocks throughout the experiment. During each trial, the students placed their car at the highest point of the ramp and released it to see how far it would travel. With a meter stick in hand, students recorded the distance for each test. Following the trials, the second graders answered questions such as, "On which ramp did your car travel the farthest?", "What data from your table supports your claim?" and "How can you explain what happened using the word 'potential energy'?"

To take their learning one step further, the students then designed their own experiments that also utilized controls, variables, and data collection. While some groups chose to investigate if the car's mass affected how far it would travel, others looked into if the car's length or the ramp's surface would make an impact. Excellent job, Grade 2 scientists! 

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.