From dominoes to catapults…

A group of children began exploring machines with blocks.  Creating imaginary vehicles, shooters, and electric powered motors, they discussed cause and effect. This pretend play gave way to two machines with very real, observable power. The force of dominos has set off the catapult, engaging our entire community!

Through this play, children are asking questions about force, weight, length, strength, angle and stability. As the group works to construct the machine, smaller conversations abound as individuals explain what is happening, ask questions, and share ideas.

“Maybe we could move it a little closer.”  -Charlotte

How do you know the block is the right distance from the eagle?  -Emily

“We put it on it and then we pick it up and put it back.”  -Brooke

“It’s not going to work because it’s taped on.  It’s not moving.”  -Ryan

“It will still work, Ryan.  I tested it.  It just needed to move around a bit.”  -Beatrice

“The block pushes and the eagle goes up.”  -Zaahra

“This has to be angled for when it falls it will go straight.”  -Lyla

“Like this is a big angle and this is a small angle.”  -Graeme, opening and closing his arms.

“Like, do you know diagonal?”  -Lyla

“We made it stronger with long blocks there and a longer block on the end.  It will push the bald eagle further.”  -Ryan

“Hey guys, look! It catapulted!” -Maren

Ray and Birdie discuss and test their different ideas at a table nearby.

“Are you guys trying to figure out why it’s happening?”  -Graeme

“We’re trying to figure out if we should have that block or not.”  -Birdie