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Mousetrap Race Cars Provide Fun and Learning

Posted on: February 28, 2017

Liberty parent and CH2M Hill engineer Kevin Whittier presented a fun and active physics lesson involving the forces of motion in  fifth grade classrooms recently.  The lesson, which used “race cars” constructed of mousetraps and other materials, asked students to observe a variety of variables, log data, and apply mathematical skills to draw conclusions about the effects of each variable.  Lever arms, wheel size, axle size, distance and speed were all measured and considered.  The students were posed with the task of predicting which car would go the furthest, the shortest, the fastest and the slowest based on their observations and measurements.  “It was really cool!”, stated one student.  “I liked the experiments with each car.”.  Mr. Whittier provided five different cars for the lesson, each with unique features that distinguished it from the others.  Liberty staff have been experimenting with STEAM lessons this year in an effort to increase student engagement and diversify instruction.