Year 5 Science

Forces & Friction

During Science on the 10th January, Year 5 learned about friction and tested it in an interesting way!  Earlier in the session, we discussed how friction can be deliberately increased or decreased for a specific purpose, such as goalkeepers wearing gloves, keeping the grass short on a golf course, or wearing spikes on a running track.  

Then, the children were given jelly cubes on paper plates and asked to move the cubes from one plate to another using just chopsticks. The friction between the jelly and plate was very high and the children struggled to separate them to begin with.  However, the sticky surface of the jelly turned out to be exceptionally helpful, increasing friction between them and the chopsticks and making holding on to them much easier.  

To completely change the situation, we then added vegetable oil. All of a sudden, the friction levels had changed! The jelly cubes were no longer attached to the plate with a great deal of friction thanks to the oil, so they were much easier to remove. However, the minimal friction meant that the children really struggled to hold on to the cubes in their new oily state.

We all really enjoyed looking at how friction can be used deliberately and how increasing and decreasing it can really affect how easy or difficult it is for surfaces to interact with each other!

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