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A Slippery Problem

Target Audience

Key Stage 2

Link to the National Curriculum

Sc4 Forces Yr 3

Pupils should be taught to:

  • compare how things move on different surfaces

Sc4 Forces Yr 5

Pupils should be taught to:

  • identify the effects of air resistance, water resistance and friction, that act between moving surfaces

Download worksheet

What you need

  • Shoe
  • Weights / string/ weight holder
  • Investigation board ( A piece of mdf board)
  • Investigation sheet (see download)

What you do

  • See the video clip on the website: www.practicalprimaryscience.co.uk
  • Set up the apparatus as shown in the video clip
  • Discuss with the children the “fair testing” rules.

Group /Class organisation

  • Depending on the number of adult helpers and apparatus available will determine how many groups of three / four children will take part in this practical activity.
  • If limited help is available then other children not involved directly in the practical activity should be engaged in associated work with the topic e.g. My icy day experience

How it works

  • Friction is created when any two moving surfaces come into contact with one another. the smoother the surfaces the less friction will be involved

Preliminary Activities

  • This would take the form of class or group discussion to discuss their own individual experiences from “real life” relating to slippery situations.

Follow up work

  • Look at situations in real life where “less friction” is more useful e.g. moving parts in transport

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