Year 3 Investigate Friction

Year 3 Investigate Friction

Science was ramped up for Year 3 this week when they looked at how different surfaces affected the journey of a small car as it overcame friction to get moving.

Friction is a force between two surfaces that are sliding, or trying to slide, across each other and we looked at wood, carpet, foam and sandpaper. Sometimes friction is helpful (like the rough tiles around a swimming pool to stop you slipping or using brakes on a bike to slow you down) and sometimes it is not helpful (when you would like to go down a slide or on a sledge more quickly).

Everyone made predictions of which one would have the most friction (and therefore be the slowest) based on what we had learned earlier in the week. We knew bumpier surfaces tend to have higher friction, but which would prove to be the slowest and did changing the height of the ramp affect the results?!

We found the (very bumpy) carpet was the slowest and the car trundled down the ramp and even needed to go up higher on the ramp to get it going! Carpet won the prize for most friction. However, we found the car whizzed down the smooth wooden ramp (and straight off of the bench to continue rolling on the floor!) so it had the least friction.

Next term we will be looking at other variables in this experiment including whether adding masses will change the results.

Well done Year 3 for such thorough investigating!

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