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SurfaceStudy Kit

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Unit:  Ea

Friction experiments reveal how different surface properties affect the motion of moving objects!

From tire compounds to water slides, factors that affect friction are important considerations in modern engineering and design. In this kit, students define friction and discover how different textures affect the speed and distance of moving objects as they slide solid maple blocks down a ramp. They’ll experiment with six different textiles as they investigate which one creates desired results and why.

To begin, set up the ramp in an open area and attach a textile using convenient hook-and-loop fastener strips. Then have students release the blocks from the top of the ramp and observe their behavior sliding down the chosen textile compared to the smooth ramp surface. Students analyze the effects of all six textiles and discuss the results. Older students will differentiate between kinetic and static friction, define the equation for frictional force, and more.

The ramp features strong ABS construction for years of institutional use and measures 48”L x 33”W x 38”H; 19 lb. Six color-coded textiles include cotton (orange), vinyl (purple), nylon (blue), latex foam (white), polyurethane (red) and nylon (green). They measure 54-3/4”L x 12”W. The maple blocks are 6”L x 4”W x 1-3/4”H; 5 oz. Included lesson direction is adaptable for grades K-4 and 5-8. The included lesson direction details setup instructions, activities by grade level, learning objectives, and teaching suggestions to expand lessons. Kit accommodates up to 4 students. See full contents list below. Recommended for Elementary and up.

Kit includes:

  • Ramp, 1 Ea
  • Textiles, Set of 6
  • Maple Blocks, 2 ea
  • Lesson Direction, 1 Ea