Grade 6 Creates Eruption and Disruption

Sixth graders grabbed their safety goggles, a pumpkin, and a LOT of rubber bands to test Newton's First Law in a hands-on science experiment this week. In honor of the school's Day of Disruption, they also used the lesson as a way to discuss important issues that needed to be "erupted."

At first, the pumpkin is at rest. Newton's First Law states that an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by another force. (This is also known as The Law of Inertia). As you add rubber bands to the pumpkin, those bands gradually begin transferring force to the shell of the pumpkin, causing an inelastic deformation on the outside of the pumpkin. Eventually, the combined potential energy of the rubber bands is so strong, the pumpkin can't take it anymore and explodes from the force.

Students have also been discussing social justice issues and thought this experiment would be a great way to visually represent disrupting the status quo. They wrote words, phrases, and ideas that they'd like to challenge or see erupted: COVID-19, racism, stereotypes, violence, etc.
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