Montessori Students Explore Forces with PEARLS Program
Service learning student Aaron Zimmerman and Physics Outreach organized a series of table-top investigations for a science extravaganza at the Follow the Child Montessori School in Lafayette. The theme of the investigations was naturally occurring forces. Students experimented, for example, with varying both the mass and length associated with pendulums (below left), buoyancy, and the effects of changing arm length and mass of a balance beam (below right).
Parents of children who attend the school were recruited to conduct the various investigations with students. Zimmerman, with Society of Physics Student member Zachary Babyak and David Sederberg, Director of Physics Outreach, instructed parents in the principles involved with each of the guided-inquiry investigations.
These concept-focused, hands-on investigations are components of the PEARLS program. PEARLS (Physics Education Activities and Resources for Learning) activities allow children to investigate phenomena and related concepts at their own pace in an informal learning environment.
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