Gillespie News: Flying into Physics

Y5 have been going to a local community centre where Scarabeus, an aerial theatre company, are based. We go there to learn about the physics behind forces. We put harnesses on and do upside down turns and twists and spins. It’s very fun and memorable. It’s better than just sitting in a lesson being told about forces because this way you get to feel them and experience them.

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An impressive example of what Scarabeus aerial performers can do (photo taken from their website)

To warm up we do yoga. The yoga is hard but it’s important to stretch your muscles to prepare them for aerial flight. Our favourite yoga positions were the cat and also one where we were back to back and leaning against each other.

We have also been to a secondary school near us to learn more about forces. At Highbury Fields School we did an amazing experiment with an airboard. The teacher turned it off and we had to explain how friction can be helpful and unhelpful. We also did an experiment with paper where we got to rip bits and change their shape making sure the mass was the same. If we hadn’t done that then it wouldn’t have been a fair test. Then we dropped them and compared the times they took to drift to the floor. Nobody’s estimations were correct! We were baffled at how the long pieces of paper simply glided and took longer than the rest. We were flabbergasted that the scrunched up ball of paper took only 63 milliseconds to fall to the floor. And then we had to answer a question to explain which were the fastest and the slowest.

Written by Reuben and Isla (Y5)

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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