Simple Machines, Laws of Motion, and Impressions 5 Science Center in ES

Week 19: January 13 – 17

Simple Machines, Laws of Motion, and Impressions 5 Science Center in ES

Inclined plane, wheel and axle, lever, wedge, screw, and pulley. These six words come out of the heroes’ mouths quite often lately. Moving filing cabinets, hammering nails into wood, splitting wood, experimenting with the Law of Inertia, and building Rube Goldberg machines have become common work tasks this week.

In addition, the heroes are going after their academic session goals with grit and lots of gusto! The heroes are thoughtfully setting their daily goals to work towards their larger session goals.


The week started off with a mind-blowing hero talk from Mr. Jeff, Ms. Sarah’s dad! Using weights, heroes, and a lever (a beam with two ends and a fulcrum), Mr. Jeff showed us how less force/weight can lift heavier loads when you move the fulcrum closer to the heavy load you want to lift.

It’s a math equation. To balance each side, (the load weight multiplied by the distance from the fulcrum) must equal (the load weight on the other side multiplied by the distance from the fulcrum).

Evi was lifted off the ground by the lever with only 10 pounds on the opposite end. With the fulcrum closer to Evi and the counterweight at the far opposite end, this task was possible. Mr. Jeff’s demonstrations proved that simple machines do indeed make work easier. Thank you, Mr. Jeff!


This week, the heroes experimented some with Newton’s Laws of Motion.

  1. Newton’s 1st Law (Law of Inertia) states that: An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless a force acts upon it. (Objects resist changes in motion. If they are moving, they want to stay moving, but if objects are at rest, they want to stay resting.)
  2. Newton’s 2nd Law states that: An applied force on an object equals the time rate of change of its momentum (force = mass x acceleration). (The harder you push, the faster your bicycle goes.
  3. Newton’s 3rd Law states that: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. (As a bouncy ball hits the floor, the floor pushes back = action and reaction cycle.)


Who holds the responsibility for the following studio elements currently in the studio? The heroes used a continuum to identify where responsibilities rest at the current moment. This continuum of responsibilities can improve and change to place more responsibility in the heroes’ hands.


Team building! Building a house of cards often results in lots of failed attempts. The heroes responded with a growth mindset!


First day using the peg board for making Rube Goldberg Machines. The heroes attempted to create a chain-reaction machine that included a wedge and wheel and axle.



Most of the attempts at their machines failed. The ES heroes still demonstrated these machines to the ELS heroes and discussed with their younger peers the importance of a growth mindset in the midst of failure. Wonderful learning opportunities!!


Impressions 5 Science Center!! What an amazing day filled with discovery, fun, and play-based learning! 

The heroes at Journey rock at play-based learning! They spent a large amount of time in the grocery store area.

Major highlights of the heroes from Impressions 5 included the grocery store, the giant teeth, the bubble room, the water “flow” room, and the Think Tank room. In the Think Tank room, the heroes planned, tested, and experimented with getting boats to float and sail in the wind of a fan.


Friday morning, the heroes ventured out to Calvary Church’s indoor prayer garden. Just as Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to his Father in Matthew 26:36-56, we went to Calvary Church’s indoor prayer garden to spend time with God in a peaceful and serene place. Getting away from distractions to hear from God and talk with Him was the best end to this week. In Matthew 26:41, Jesus told his Disciples: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 


Have you asked your hero:

  • What program was the most challenging for you this week?
  • How did you fail this week? What would a growth mindset think about that failure?
  • What simple machine examples can you find around the house, especially in the kitchen?
  • What was frustrating about trying to build the house of cards?
  • What are you learning about failure with building the Rube Goldberg Machines?
  • What did Sir Isaac Newton contribute to science, especially to physics?
  • Why do we wear seat belts in our car or vehicle? 
  • How could you experiment with Newton’s Laws of Motion at home? (see above for a reminder of Newton’s Laws of Motion)
  • What was it like in the prayer garden at Calvary Church? How did you spend that time?
  • Why do we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. this coming Monday with a day off school?

See you next week!

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