We had such fun trying to get Rudolph to fly fast in Christmas STEM challenge. I decided that we needed to test out a variety of types of string to find out which one would help our homemade New Year’s ball in drop fast.
Beyond using a variety of types of string we also used a different way to have our New Year’s ball move along the string. By changing the way to pass the string through the craft we created a new series of challenges. Rudolph used string threaded through a straw to travel on in his STEM experiment. The New Year’s ball travel using a bread tag.
Before I share more about the challenge, let me tell you about how we created our New Year’s ball.
New Year’s Ball Creation Directions
- Silver Corrugated Paper
- Gold Glittery String
- Bread Tag
- Glue Stick
- Cut a large circle out of the silver paper along with several long strips.
- Fold the circle in half. Cut a number of slits from the center fold area of the circle toward the outside edge.
- Alternate weaving the gold glittery string and the silver slats through the opened circle. (Yes, this is just the way you wove paper place mats when you were little.)
- Glue the string and slats into place
- Glue the bread tag to the back of the New Year’s ball. (I thought about having it travel via a hole in the top and decided after punching the hole that it was a bad idea. That is why our ball has a hole in it.)
The challenge was to discover which of three types of string or yarn would allow our New Year’s ball to travel the fastest. The same incline was to be created using each string. My son was to sit the same distance away from the deck during each STEM challenge attempt.
Ahead of time we attached a length of yarn, a length of silver glittery string and a length of wax covered twine to our deck. Each piece was the same length.
My son attached the ball to each string one at a time. Then he needed find the spot he needed to sit in. Until he sat down he tried to hold the string horizontal to keep it from starting to descend.
STEM Challenge Results
We hadn’t accounted for the sharp point the two sides of the bread tag would create. In hindsight the tag should have been glued with the points down. The string, yarn and twine could have been thread through the hole. The pint slowed the ball down a little.
The ball moved slowest when on the sparkly string. The bread tag snagged some of time. It wasn’t smooth either.
The ball travel faster on the yarn. It snagged a little, but slipped out of the snags on its own. We used yarn leftover from last Christmas. We decided new yarn with a tighter twist might have been better.
The waxed cord was the fastest way for the New Year’s ball to travel. The bread tag didn’t snag and the ball flew!
You can find more science activities on my Early Learning Pinterest board.