Fall Science

We are fall obsessed in this house and if I can incorporate our favorite season in science, I do!


Our main science focus is physics this year but I am adding a dash of other topics as well (chemistry and animal science this week).


Ghost Rockets Science Experiment
Ghost Rockets Science Experiment

Ghost rockets are one of my favorite science experiments!


Materials:

  • Film canisters (or another small canister that you can quickly seal)

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Measuring spoons

Method:

  • Put a teaspoon of baking soda in the canister

  • Put the top on, but leave it just cracked open

  • Quickly pour able a tablespoon of vinegar in the canister and seal

  • Watch the ghost take off in the air

You can try mixing different amounts and/or shaking the canister for more dramatic results. This is a fun experiment no matter what age you are teaching!



It is a great opportunity to talk about chemical reactions and force/motion.


Pumpkin Pendulum Newton’s Cradle
Pumpkin Pendulum Newton’s Cradle

Since we are studying physics, we are clearly covering Newton’s laws. Making a pendulum has been in my list of activities, but I thought we’d use pumpkins and it worked! Apples also worked and are a little more reliable due to their shape and texture.


We used a 2x4, yarn, and small pumpkins. I did tape the yarn to the 2x4 or it would slide around too much.

Bat Pulley System
Bat Pulley System

The bat pulley was a must because we are finishing a mini unit and research project on bats. Materials:

  • Bat cut outs (I used my Cricut)

  • Toilet paper roll (cut in thirds)

  • Hole punch

  • String/yarn

  • Large straws cut in quarters

  • Googley eyes

  • Stapler


Directions:

  • Add Googley eyes and silly faces to your bat (a white pencil or crayon does the trick)

  • Staple the bat to the toilet paper roll

  • Hole punch the toilet paper roll on either side

  • String the yarn through the two holes (the string should be about 2 feet long)

  • Tie a piece of straw on either side of the string

  • Place the string over a door handle and grip both straws - pull up!

All of my kiddos found this activity fun!


Pumpkin Pulley
Pumpkin Pulley

This activity was easy for us because we added a pulley system to our tree fort. If you do not have a pulley system, you can buy a wheel or pulley system at Home Depot or Amazon. I recommend using a 2x4 or tree limb as the high point for your wheel. We added a D clip and plastic bucket to ours.



Each time they pulled an additional pumpkin.


Ramps and Friction
Ramps and Friction

Last but not least, we did yet another ramp activity. We’ve already done several friction activities this year (with cars, balls, etc) but it was nice out and they wanted one more experiment today! We decided to test out a smooth ball, basketball, and pumpkin down their ramp. We tried to use the same amount of force each time and then we timed how long each object took to go down the ramp. Check out our results below.


Ramps can be made from plywood, 2x4s, pool noodles, or cardboard!