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Why Gravity?A couple of weeks ago we made a tower of Pisa out of model magic for our Italy country study. One of my blogger buddies Leah from Almost Unschoolers mentioned Galileo experiments that he has supposedly conducted in Pisa. This and some questions from my 3 year old Smarty made me do some research to figure out how to explain gravity to her.
Read About Gravity
I stumbled upon an excellent book by Vicki Cobb by doing my online research. I Fall Down has several gravty experiments, but they are also wrapped in the story that explains the results and even tackles the difference between mass and weight. I wish I read this book when I was studying physics – it’s a great introduction into the material that was quite intimidating to me.
One of the experiments was about comparing weights by watching the rubber bands stretch differently depending on the weight of the object. I asked Smarty to predict what happens when we hang two very different shoes from a rubber band. She predicted correctly - papa’s shoe stretched the rubber band a lot more than her own shoe.
Smarty was so pleased with this experiment that she kept measuring all the shoes in the house until one of the rubber bands finally snapped. We tried to use hair bands then, but found out that they are not stretchy enough to make a significant difference between two shoes - something that at this point is quite hard to explain to her.