This yardstick STEM activity is part of a series of STEM activities that feature school supplies. Early I shared with you STEM science project ideas that featured #2 pencil towers, 3-ring binder car ramps, and magic marker bridges. This science activity features a yard stick, erasers and binder clips. We are calling it “Build a Yard Stick” canal.
Boats travel down a canal filled with water. This STEM activity invites children to create a canal. Then they are to send a variety of balls from one end of the canal to the other.
Science Project Ideas Materials
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Science Project Ideas
Creating the Bridge
You will need flat erasers, binder clips,and two yardsticks to create the bridge. I think you will find that the bridge will stay together best when it is created on a textured or rough surface. The binder clips tend to slip on a smooth surface. If you choose to use a smooth surface, you may need to tape the binder clips down to the surface.
You will place a flat eraser into each of your binder clips. Then place the binder clips on a flat surface with the flat end down. The clips should be going diagonally down from the open end to the flat surface.
Then you will place your yard sticks in the space created in between the two clips. This will create a “V” shaped canal or alley way.
Along with the yardstick, binder clips and erasers, your children will need to try to get a variety of balls down the canal or alley.
We used the following balls:
- bouncy ball
- golf ball
You can use any or all of the balls above for the experiment. You can also use any other type of ball you think will fit in the canal.
Ways to Get the Balls Down the Canal
My son thought blowing the balls down the canal would be fun. He found that the lighter balls were able to make the complete trip.
You will also want to try his second idea. He gave the balls a push from behind to get the ball rolling. Your children can try giving it a strong push to see if they can get the ball to make a complete trip.
Next you may want to have your children bang one of the balls into another ball to get it rolling. If the ball stops rolling, they can tap or bang the ball a second time.
Finally you could have them tap or hit a ball from behind with a stick. This would be like using a pool cue.
Things Your Kids Will Observe
What type of ball will travel the farthest down the yardstick road?
Is there a ball rolling technique works best for each ball?
What rolling technique works best overall?