The post Ball Bearing Model appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>Let’s try sliding a block of wood across the floor. Then do the same with a marble. I am sure the marble goes farther. This is because rolling motion creates less friction than flat surfaces rubbing against each other. Ball Bearings work on the same principle. A ball bearing is a friction reducing mechanism made up of a ring-shaped track of freely rotating hard steel balls. The ball’s sphere shape reduces surface contact and friction while keeping the moving parts apart. A ball bearing has three primary functions: to support loads, minimize friction and position moving machine parts.

- Bottle Caps of Different Sizes
- Marbles

- Take three bottle caps of different sizes.
- Place the smallest cap inside the middle size cap.
- Take same sized marbles and place them between the edges of the two caps. It will now look like a ring of marbles.
- Place the largest cap such that it rests on the marbles only and does not touch any of the other caps or any other surface.
- This is a model of a ball bearing.

Keep a book on the largest cap and spin it. The book will turn easily.

Now, take out the marbles. Keep the top cap back and place the book on it. try to spin the book again. It will not spin. It may move a little.

Do you know why ?

Ball Bearings are required in machines to maintain a smooth flow of motion and minimize friction. Friction is simply the resistance to motion that occurs as one object moves in relation to another. Many Toys, common appliances and electronics that can rotate or spin use ball bearings.

The marbles in our ball bearing model serve as steel balls in the bearings. By having smooth marble balls and a smooth inner and outer surface for the balls to roll on, the friction between the surfaces is greatly reduced. Furthermore since, the contact area between moving parts is so limited and the balls rotate, the friction is further reduced. These marbles bear the load of the top lid and book , allowing them to rotate freely.

Additionally, there are some more science experiments for kids to understand how things work.

- How Maglav Train works
- ElectroMagnetic Train Model
- DIY Plastic Toy Car Using Wheels and Axle – Simple Machine Model
- DIY Leprechaun Trap Using Pulley – SImple Machine Model

( Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase )

Check out Thames and Cosmos Simple Machine Science Experiment and Model Building Kit if you want to investigate, build and learn more about simple machines and how they make complicated tasks simpler. There’s a step by step instruction manual for building a variety of simple machine model, as well as scientific explanations for each one of them.

I’ll like to hear how you make science fun for your kids.

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Till then, Happy Experimenting !

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]]>The post Pentomino Puzzles appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>Instead of buying a pentomino puzzle kit, I decided to make use of my kids legos. After all, there are numerous ways of using legos to teach math, ranging from basic counting to difficult math concepts like probabilities. To begin, I asked my kids to gather 2×2 legos bricks in as many different colors as possible. Then I gave them a little more information about the puzzle before they started building the puzzle pieces.

Pentomino puzzle is a tiling puzzle, just like how the game of Tetris is. Pentominoes are shapes made of five equal-sized square pieces that are joined together from edge to edge. In a typical **pentomino puzzle**, we have to tile a rectangular box with the pentominoes, ie , cover it without overlaps and without gaps.

To arrange these five squares, there are only twelve different ways. Any shape that can be rotated or flipped to look like another shape, is considered the same. These twelve different shapes are named T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z,F,I,L,P and N. It is based on the letter of the alphabet that most closely resembles it. You might notice that 6 out of the 12 shapes F, L, P, N, Y and Z can be mirrored ( rotated or flipped ).

Each of the 12 pentominoes has an area of 5 unit squares, so the area of the rectangular box has to be 60 units. There are 3 x 20, 4 x 15, 5 x 12 and 6 x 10 possible sizes.

- 3 x 20 rectangle has only 2 solutions.
- 4 x 15 rectangle has 368 solutions.
- 5 x 12 rectangle has 1,010 solutions.
- 6 x 10 rectangle has 2,339 solutions.

I began by asking my kids to draw all the different possible shapes on a graph paper that they can create using 5 unit squares.

They then used it as a guide to build the shapes of the pentominoes out of lego pieces. They created each of these shape using 5 units of 2 x 2 lego bricks.

The pentominoes puzzle was ready to be assembled. But, I wanted my kids to get acquainted with the Pentominoes pieces before jumping into solving a Pentomino puzzle.

I asked them to use 3 pentominoes to create a rectangle of 15 square unit.

Afterwards, they put together 4 pentominoes to fill a rectangle which covers an area of 20 units.

Similary, 5 pentominoes to create a rectangle of 25 units. This gave them a better understanding of how each piece fit together.

Lastly, I asked them to use 6 pentominoes to put together to make a 5 by 6 rectangle of 30 units. Later, they had to use the other 6 pentominoes from the complete set of 12, to make another 5 by 6 rectangle.

Once the kids felt comfortable working with the pentominoes pieces, I asked them to create a rectangle of different sizes : 3 x 20 , 4 x 15, 5 x 12 and 6 x 10. No doubt, it was tough for them and I did advice them couple of times. We realized that since we used Lego pieces, it made more sense to make the 6 pentominoes ( F, L, P, N, Y and Z ) mirrored shapes also. It helped visualize the pieces better while solving the puzzle.

Ask your kids to create any figure they like : figures of animals, houses, vehicles etc. This will help them to think methodically and learn spatial skills. It will be a good brain boosting activity for them and they will definitely enjoy doing it.

Also, for a math enthusiast kid, take a look at these examples of how critical thinking skills can be used to solve difficult math problems.

I will recommend these books if you will like to learn more about Pentomino puzzles.

( Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase )

This book introduces important mathematical concepts of measurement ( unit, area, perimeter), triangular numbers and geometry to kids in a playful way.

This book features tons of pentomino puzzles to solve and is a great way to enhance kids problem solving skills, strategic thinking and sense of two dimensional space.

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]]>The post Heart Coordinate Graphing Activity appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>To begin with, he started by plotting a series of ordered pairs to a coordinate plane. Once each point was plotted, he connected the dots to reveal the hidden shape – A Heart ! Though, he should have connected the points with line segments as he was plotting them. Download the printable for this activity.

Now, he wanted to practice graphing a heart on the coordinate plane in all four quadrants. I quickly went over all the four quadrants with him. I showed him him how to graph them with positive and negative numbers. In school, he has not yet learned about negative numbers, but he has basic knowledge of them. In fact, he enjoyed doing this activity more than the previous one.

Click below to download the activity printables.

This graphing activity is suitable for kids in fourth grade. And, a perfect one to integrate math and Valentine’s day.

If you are looking for brain boosting puzzles for your kids then grab these 30+ interesting critical thinking puzzles my kids have loved solving.

And, if your kids love activities involving coordinate graphing to find hidden pictures, then check out these fantastic books on amazon.

( Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate link, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase )

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]]>The post Valentine themed Light Refraction Science Experiment appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>- A glass
- Water
- Paper and marker or download the
*printable*

Download the printable HERE or draw the design yourself.

Place the paper with the boy and the girl design behind the glass and look through the empty bottle. What do you see ? There is no change, the boy is facing away from the girl.

Fill the glass with water.

Look through the glass of water from the front again and slowly move the paper back, what do you see ? The boy is facing the girl and looks like he is giving her the flowers.

Isn’t that cool.. so grab the printable and give it a try.

When the image is moved to a certain distance behind the glass, it appears to have reversed itself. When light passes from one material to another, it can bend or refract. In this experiment, light traveled from the air, through the glass, through the water, through the back of the glass, and then back through the air, before reaching the image. And therefore, it’s **refracting**.

The glass of water acts like a magnifying glass. When light passes through a magnifying glass, the light bends towards the center. Where the light comes together, it is called the focal point. Beyond the focal point the image appears to be reversed because the light rays bent past each other. The light that was on the right side is now on the left and the left on the right, making the image appear reversed.

I hope you will surprise your special someone with this valentine themed science experiment on refraction of light. If you are looking for more science experiment, then check out some of them HERE.

Here are some of my latest post

- Ball Bearing Model
- Pentomino Puzzles
- Heart Coordinate Graphing Activity
- Valentine themed Light Refraction Science Experiment
- How to build a Straw Bridge – STEM Activity

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Happy experimenting !

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]]>The post How to build a Straw Bridge – STEM Activity appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>To begin the activity, we looked at a couple of pictures of various types of bridges ( Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco , The Tower Bridge in London , Sydney Harbor Bridge, and different bridges especially in California HERE ) and I asked my kids.

- What shapes do you see in these structures?
- Which parts of the structure do you think help most for making it really strong? Why?
- Which shapes do you think most help the structure become strong?

We talked about how triangle is the strongest shape and used in most of the bridges. And we tested it ourselves before building the bridge model. Kids quickly grabbed some toothpicks and clear tape and made different shapes to check and see which shapes are rigid or flexible when gently pushed on one corner.

I then showed them a simulation of the strength of different shapes in a building HERE.

Now it was time to look at the different types of bridges and the forces acting on them before beginning to build one : Beam, Arch, Cable-Stayed, Cantilever, Suspension and Truss.

**Beam**: Beam bridges are the oldest bridges known and prove to be the easiest to design and build. These bridges are horizontal and supported at the end of each side. This form of bridge rests on the top of the beams that pressing straight down on both ends of the bridge.

**Arch**: Arch bridges are arch-shaped. They have supports on each end, and the both ends of the abutments bear the center weight of the bridge.

**Suspension**: Cables are used for carrying suspension bridges. The cables are suspended from towers connected to cofferdams. Such blocks are deeply mounted. in the water’s surface or body.

**Truss**: Truss bridges have a sturdy deck and a frame of girders on the sides. They are build either by putting many triangle frames together or by using a pyramid style frame.

**Cable-stayed**: Closely resembling suspension bridges, cable-stayed bridges are supported by cables except they use fewer cables. The towers that hold the cables are much shorter than suspension bridges. (Tatara Bridge)

Kids were eager to start their STEM activity and build a straw bridge of their own. They first made a design on the paper, discussed and tweaked it, and went on to build their own bridge, tested it and then made modifications to make it stronger.

It was time to test both the models.

and both the models did fairly well under the weight.

We then discussed about the engineering element behind the design of a bridge.

- How you think this information is used by engineers and architects while they are building ?
- Which sorts of events are likely to push and pull on real life structures ( Gravity, water, wind etc ).
- What factors the engineers take into consideration before constructing the bridges.
- How far does the bridge need to stretch? A very short span or fairly long distance.
- Does the location where a bridge is being build a crucial factor ? Is the ground firm enough to take large abutments for an arch? Is there a good bedrock where suspension cables can be anchored ?
- If the bridge needs to cross a river, how can piers and towers be safely plunged into its bed so the flowing water doesn’t scour them away.
- How much load the bridge has to bear ? Will it hold railroads, cars and pedestrians.

- How will architects and engineers decide to have rigid structures ? When could they want them to be flexible?
- Most bridges are designed to be primarily rigid, but with an expected amount of flexibility so that they can withstand strong wind or earthquake.

- How can engineers increase the ability of a building to withstand earthquakes ? What is a cross brace ?
- Using the square shape kids made before, add a 5th toothpick diagonally. The shape is now divided into small triangles and gives the initial square model more stability. This is called cross brace.

The kids then watched the video to learn more about the strength and weakness of each type of bridge.

If you’re looking for more STEM activities for kids, check them out HERE.

- Ball Bearing Model
- How to build a Straw Bridge – STEM Activity
- Plastic Bottle Toy Car
- Stick Man – Stem Activity
- Star Wars Lightsaber – DIY

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]]>The post Nim Game appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>- Start with setting up as many stacks of counters as you want and each stack can have as many counters as you like. For example, you start with 3 stacks of counters, the first with 7, the second with 5 and the third with 3.
- Players take turn removing any number of counters from any one of the stack. The player must take at least one counter on their turn.
- The winner is the player who picks up the last counter.

I wanted to introduce my kids to a basic version of the NIM game and build on their problem-solving skills to find a strategy for solving Nim Game with multiple stacks of counters.

First, set up only one stack of counters and ask your kids if they want to go first or second ? Of course, children always want to go first and win. So hopefully, they will go first and grab all the counters and win. If not, grab all the counters on your turn and you will be the winner. Now set the game up again, and ask them if they will want to go first or second ?

So far, the game is pretty simple but it showed my kids that if they have one stack of counters left on their side, they’re winning.

Next, play a simplified version of the two stack Nim game with just one counter in each stack. Ask your kids again if they want to go first or second ? Your kid will be quick to guess that going first is a guaranteed loser ! No matter which counter they choose, you can take the other counter to win.

So, the strategy for two stack Nim game is to get the counters down to a single counter in each stack on your opponent’s turn for you to win.

Now, setup two stacks with two counters in each stack ? Can you figure out the winning strategy for this one ?

The basic idea to winning is to try to make it so your move makes the stacks equal. On your turn, take counters off the bigger stack until both stacks are equal. This way, you compel your opponent to make the stacks unequal on their next turn, and you can evenly balance the stacks again on your turn. So no matter what the other player does, you copy their move and keep the stacks equal. In the end, you will win, because the other player will inevitably have to finish a stack and you can finish the last stack.

For this strategy to work, in order to win, you need to be in a position where you can make the stacks equal. That is, if the stacks start unequally the first player has a winning strategy and the second player otherwise has the winning strategy.

Play the game with two stacks and more counters to see if the strategy always work.

Once you have played the game a couple of times, ask your kids about different strategies to win the NIM game ?

- Can you generalize to have a winning strategy for any number of stack? When is it advantageous to be the first player? Second player?
- How can you win NIM when you are playing with three stacks? Does one of the players have a winning strategy? Which player do you think? Check out the HINT

The game of NIM teaches kids about problem solving. You can also find 30+ Critical thinking puzzles HERE.

- Ball Bearing Model
- Pentomino Puzzles
- Heart Coordinate Graphing Activity
- Valentine themed Light Refraction Science Experiment
- How to build a Straw Bridge – STEM Activity

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]]>The post Multiplication Buzz appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>- This game can be played between 2 players or more.
- First, determine which number’s times table you need to revise ( choose a number from 3 – 9 ).
- The first player says number 1, to start the game. The next player says the following number ie 2 and son on. Players take turns counting the next number and so on.
- When a multiple of the chosen number comes up, the player doesn’t say the number but instead says “BUZZ”.
- The next player says the following number and the play goes on until one of the player makes a mistake.
- For instance, if 6 is the chosen number, it would sound like this to count around the players – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, BUZZ , 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, BUZZ, 13, 14, 15 and so on.
- The game ends when one of the players counts till the 12th multiple of the chosen number.
**Note**: If only two players are playing and the number chosen is an even number, then only one player will always get the multiples of that number and will have to say the word BUZZ. Therefore, when only two players are playing, it makes sense to use an odd number as the chosen number.

Here are few more math games that require minimal supplies and are so enjoyable to play and bond with your children as they practice their math skills in a fun way.

- Target Number – A Math Card Game to practice Order of Operation.
- Fence me in – A Strategy Game to practice the concepts of Area and Perimeter.
- Flip Ten – A math card game to practice addition facts
- Tens Go Fish – A math card game to practice addition facts

And, if you are like me who try to introduce challenging math problems that can inspire kids to develop more thoughtful and creative thinking approach to solving problems then you will love these books

The Math Olympiad Contest Problems for Elementary and Middle Schools is a perfect beginner book for introducing problem solving strategies for challenging math problems. In the back of the book, there are helpful hints as well as detailed solutions to all 400 math problems. Some problems are based on math concepts that your children may not have studied in school yet, so you may need to explain the concept to them first. Recommended for kids in grades 4 – 8.

In the Math Olympiad Contest Problem Vol 2 book you will find 425 challenging math problems with step by step solutions, hints and strategies to solve them. It is recommended for students in grades 4- 8.

The MOEMS Contest Problem Vol 3 book is a continuation of the Vol2. Here you will find 400 challenging math problems with step by step solutions and multiple strategies to solve them. It is recommended for students in grades 4- 8.

I hope you and your kids will have fun playing these math card games.

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]]>The post Target Number- Order of Operations- Math Card Game appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>- Two decks of cards ( remove Jack, Queen and King ). Ace equals 1 .
- 2 players
- Paper and pen

- Deal five cards to each player.
- Flip one card from the top of the deck and place it in the center. This card will be the target number.
- The goal of each player is to use the cards in their hand to add, subtract, multiply or divide to reach the target number.
- Each player must try to use all five cards, but must use at least 2 cards.
- If a player can make the target number, he/she will write the letter “T” from the word “TARGET” to a piece of paper.
- For example, if the target number is 5, and the player has a 2, 7, 2, 3, 3, he/she could use one of these equations : “3+2” or “(3+3)/2+2” or “(7+3)/2” or “(7 + 2 + ( 3×2))/3”.

- Players must then discard all of the five cards in their hand along with the target number card.
- Five more cards are dealt to each player and a new target number is placed in the center. The play continues until one of the players has written all the letters of the word “TARGET”.

**Tens Go Fish**is a mathematical adaptation of the classic “Go fish” game. And it helps to practice the combinations of ten.**Flip Ten**is a spin off of a traditional*memory match*game to practice the addition facts and learn the combination of tens

Lets stay connected, here is my blog’s facebook page My World Their Way

(Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. )

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]]>The post Red Cabbage Science experiment – pH indicator appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>- Red cabbage
- Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Lemon Juice
- Water
- Couple of glass cups
- Sieve
- dropper or pipette ( optional )

- Finely chop some red cabbage leaves and place it in a bowl.
- Pour boiling water over them and keep it aside for 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid from the cabbage mixture into a glass cup. It should be purple- violet in color. This is the ph indicator solution.
- Now, prepare the acidic and basic solutions for the experiment. Fill different glass containers with the following solution.
- Lemon Juice
- Vinegar
- water
- A teaspoon of Baking Soda mixed with water
- 2-3 teaspoon of sugar mixed with water
- Drop a couple of ph indicator solution( red cabbage water ) into each of the cup and notice how the color changes in each one of them.
- The color of each solution will change based on its pH level. It will transform into various shades of red in an acid, likewise for a base it will have various shades of green and, if neutral, a purple hue.

The pH scale is an important indicator of how acidic or alkaline a solution is. The scale ranges from 0 to 14, 0 being the strongest acid, 7 being neutral, and 14 being the strongest alkali.

Red cabbage is a perfect pH indicator because its leaves contain a pigment called anthocyanins that are responsible for many of the red/purple/blue colors found in fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanins molecules change color depending on the pH of the solution they are in, making them useful as a pH indicator.

By placing the red cabbage in boiling water, we extracted the pigment molecules into the water solution. When mixed with various solutions such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda solution, it changes color depending on the pH of that solution. The color found in neutral solutions is purple. The effect is a red color as the solution becomes more acidic. Increasing the pH in basic solutions change the color from blue to green and the solution is found to be greenish-yellow at high pH.

You may also use red cabbage juice to create paper pH indicator strips. To make pH indicator strips, cut some strips from a clean coffee filter paper. Let the strips sit in red cabbage juice for a while. Eventually, remove the strips from the juice and allow them to dry completely. They should be light purple or light blue in color. Once the strips are completely dry, you can use them to test the pH indicator of different solutions. Just dip the strips into the solution you want to test, remove it and look for a change of color. The acidic solution will make the strips red and the bases will turn them green.

I hope you’ve had fun making beautiful colored solutions in the red cabbage pH indicator science experiment. If you are looking for more science experiment, then check out some of them HERE.

(Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase)

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]]>The post Fence me in – An Area and Perimeter Strategy Game appeared first on My World Their Way.

]]>- Graph Paper
- Two 6 sided dice
- Two different colored pencils

- Each player take a turn to roll the dice.
- On each player’s turn, they need to multiply the two numbers on the dice. Then, outline a rectangle on the graph paper with its area or perimeter determined by the product of the two numbers on the dice.
- Here, the player need to think about a strategy, whether to use the area or the perimeter of their rectangle in the fence me in game.
- For example, if a player rolls 6 and 5 then the product will be 30. The player will then determine whether the product is to be used as the area or the perimeter of their rectangle.
- If they choose to use it as an area, they can draw a rectangle with any dimensions like 6 by 5 or 3 by 10 or 2 by 15 as long as the product remains the same.
- Similarly, if the player decides to use it as a perimeter, they can use any dimensions for perimeter like 6 and 4, or 7 and 3 or 5 as long as the total perimeter of the rectangle equals the product of the numbers on dice.

- To draw an outline of the rectangle, each player uses a different colored pencil to make it easy to count rectangles at the end of the game.
- Play continues until one player is unable to draw a rectangle on the board.

- The rectangles drawn on the game board may touch each other but may not overlap.
- A player loses a turn if he/she rolls a dice and is unable to draw a rectangle.
- At the end of the game, each player adds up the total number of rectangle they’ve fenced in. The player who’s been able to fence the maximum number of rectangle area wins.

Let’s stay connected, you can follow me at My World Their Way

The post Fence me in – An Area and Perimeter Strategy Game appeared first on My World Their Way.

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