Science investigation – friction

The box of cars have always been popular. We bought them here in France last summer for €10 at a car boot sale. I had said the girls could have one car each, the cunning chap said it was €6 for three cars or €10 for the lot… so the whole box came home.

To warrant such a large box making the trip across Europe the cars have been used for a myriad of things; data handling, pictographs, place value, number bonds, playing! The list goes on!

This week they had some serious work to do while Daddy and Freya investigated the force of friction exerted by different surfaces in their wheels.

Ten cars were selected for the task and five surfaces were found around the house and out buildings.

As with all good investigations hypothesis were written about which surface would cause greatest and least friction on the cars as they drove down the slope.

A method of execution was discussed and timing arrangements made.

From the kitchen window it looked like the BEST fun! But the results spoke for themselves when it came to scientific findings.

Next we looked at the data.

I had intended to do some Further data handling, but all the results were to two decimal Places which I thought might extend the graphing skills a step too far!

Instead we talked about how to order decimals to find the largest and the smallest. Then we talked about the highest number being the SLOWEST and the smaller number being the FASTEST- which was a misconception in itself.

Finally, we found the average speed for each car and the average speed for each surface so we could rank them.

Freya did the column addition, even with the decimals, and Infiund the averages modeling short division.

It was brilliant!

Freya finally checked her results against her hypothesis then ran back outside to carry on playing with the cars.

Worth their weight in gold as it turns out!

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