Last night, a conversation about roller coasters at the dinner table, turned into a 20 minute Physics lesson.
GeekBoy started it by talking about the rollercoaster he wants to build when he grows up. I told him he’d better learn his math and “Physics.” When the Geek asked, “What’s that?” it was the perfect springboard into a lesson on the forces of push, pull, gravity, and friction, along with the the first law of physics, An object at rest tend to stay at rest, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. (Yes, I know that’s not the complete law, but hello!!! he’s 7! lets work on the basics and then get to the technicalities.)
We even experimented with a notebook (inclined plane) and a car, to illustrate the amount of force needed to get the car up the hill. The best one was “too much force” that sent the car flying across the Kitchen. Awesome.
Side note: The first time the car rolled down the notebook instead of up, Before I mentioned anything else, I asked, “Why? Why did it go down instead of up?” GeekBoy said, “Gravity. Gravity pulled it down.” Awesome. He knew all about Gravity and what it does thanks to watching the docu-drama From the Earth to the Moon. Thank you Tom Hanks. Please make more compelling docu-dramas. The conversations they spur are amazing, and the things the kids pick up are just incredible.