60 Second Science Video Competition


What forces are involved when striking a match?

Learning Intention: To work in a team to develop the skills required to produce a short video and to describe how an object moves in terms of the forces involved.

Success Criteria: A successful video will clearly explain how objects move using scientific terminology and be entered into the “60 second science” video competition.

Over the next week you will be planning and producing a minute-long video for the annual “60 second science” video competition. You can see past examples of student videos on the website. Your task is to explain how an object moves in terms of the forces involved. So, the title of your movie could be one of the following:

  • How does a boat float?
  • How does a plane fly?
  • How  can you do flips on a skateboard?
  • What forces are involved in kneeboarding at the beach? (Good work Tobie)
  • How can you skate fast on ice? (Excellent example Alex)
  • What forces oppose gravity? (Great idea Elektra, Jade and Ruby)
  • How can you simulate zero gravity on earth? (Good one Kaylee!)

Your first step after deciding on a topic to investigate is to create a storyboard that shows each of the scenes in your video. You can use an A3 paper folded into eight sections or create one online. Make sure all the images and music you use are Creative Commons, Copyright Free.

Year 8 Science: Simple Machines


Rachels’ bubbl.us mindmap about Simple machines.

This week in year 8 Science you will be starting a unit of work on simple machines, which includes inclined planes, (ramps and wedges and screws), levers, pulleys, wheels and axels. I have saved some links to good sites in Delicious. The first task for students is to create a mind map (use Inspiration, Freemind or Bubbl.us) to show the six different types of simple machines with at least one pictorial example of each. You could also try the Google Labs app “Squared”, which produces a table of information including the type of simple machine, an image and a description.

The purpose of a machine is to reduce the effort required to do work – this is achieved by increasing the speed or increasing the distance,  while reducing the force required. This concept is represented in the equation W = F x D (Work = Force x Distance). Before the invention of the steam and combustion engines, much work was achieved using simple machines and human or animal labour. A wooden block from a sailing ship is a pulley with a wheel and axle used to change the direction and decrease the effort required to lift a weight. Another example is the ’shaduf’, an ancient Egyptian machine (lever) used for moving water from the river up to the bank. Can you think of some examples of simple machines used in the home and workplace? Leave me a comment below with your examples.

Take digital photos (or find CC images on the web) of the following six simple machines:

  1. inclined plane
  2. wedge
  3. lever
  4. screw
  5. pulley
  6. wheel-and-axle

Upload your photos onto Voicethread and describe how each of them works to make a job easier. Embed your Voicethread in your blog and email me your blog post link.

Here are some more resources to learn about Simple machines:
Inventors Toolbox – The elements of machines (photos and descriptions)
Gadget Anatomy – a short quiz about the simple machines that make up more complex machines.
A worksheet – “If Simple machines were not around…?”
Simple machines game from the Museum of Science and Industry