Seventh Graders Explore Force and Motion
SWANNANOA, NC, August 19, 2015 — Several middle school students at ArtSpace were caught throwing paper airplanes last Wednesday, only 5 days after school started! However, these 7th graders were not misbehaving. They were following science teacher Nick Rogowski’s instructions.
What might have seemed like chaos to the untrained eye was actually a serious experience in scientific inquiry. The 7th grade science curriculum cover concepts of force and motion. The students were throwing their planes and measuring the displacement of their airplane after flight. They were then instructed to change the force with which they threw their planes and record the results.
Before taking flight, the students discussed plane design and the effects of friction and gravity. The design, construction, and flying of paper airplanes was a great way to “hook” 7th grade students for their first unit in science this school year.
In addition to exploring force and motion, Mr. Nick’s class also immersed themselves in the scientific method. Each flight team was required to have the same pilot for each launch, emphasizing that only one variable can be changed in an experiment for the results to be considered valid — lofty accomplishments for only the fifth day of school.