Vocabulary Word of the Week: Friction

Friction is a force that makes sliding objects stop moving. If you push a box across the floor, friction makes the box stop. Without friction, the box would keep sliding forever! Some objects have less friction than others. For example, ice has less friction than other surfaces. That’s why ice skating is so fun—we can slide across the ice so easily! Friction is what will help us lift a bottle filled with rice using only a pencil. Don’t think it’s possible? Friction is more powerful than you think!

There is more friction between the shoes and the grass, and less friction between the skis and the snow!

There is more friction between the shoes and the grass, and less friction between the skis and the snow!

Materials:

  1. Medium sized plastic or glass bottle

  2. About 2.5 cups of uncooked rice

  3. Funnel

  4. Scoop or spoon

  5. Pencil or chopstick

Method:

  1. Place the funnel inside of the bottle, this will make it easier to get the rice in the bottle.

  2. Using the scoop or spoon, begin to pour rice into the bottle.

  3. Gently bang the bottle on the table to settle the rice as more and more is added.

  4. Continue adding rice until the bottle is mostly filled.

  5. Stick the chopstick or pencil into the bottle. Gently stick it into the rice.  Banging the bottle on the table again to get air pockets out. This increases friction.

  6. Grab the chopstick or pencil and try to lift the bottle up!

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Natalie Duerr & Maariyah Mustafa

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