Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Exploring motion with skateboards.

We have continued the ongoing science unit of "exploring motion".  As I stated in one of the previous posts, I really wanted to teach force and direction using skateboards.  This is literally not "rocket science", and it's fun.

Skateboarding has always been a huge part of my life.  It really helped to shape who I am.  I could write a whole post on the effects the skateboarding sub-culture has had on me.  I started kicking around on a skateboard when I was about 8 years old in 1987 and it progressively grew into a lifestyle for me.  I quit skateboarding at about 21.  At that time, I became a UPS driver.  I realized by that age I was not good enough to make a career out of skateboarding, but that I needed to find a career doing something.  Skateboarding = injuries, broken bones, etc.  Injuries = possible conflict with driving a big brown truck.  Not driving said big brown truck = no money.  Simple logic = stop skateboarding.  However, I have always followed it and I still kick around on a skateboard from time to time.

Fast forward about 14 years, quite a few pounds and here I am teaching skateboarding to my students as a science lesson.  One thing about hitting the "adult crash" for me was that I was super active in my younger years.  The older I have gotten, the less active and larger I have become. Unfortunately this has hindered my ability to do the things I used to do on a skateboard.  No excuses, it just is what it is.

Nevertheless, I brought mine and my kids' skateboards and we had a fun afternoon learning about how force, direction, angles, and of course density and weight effect motion on a skateboard.  My own density taught us a lesson in gravity too, as it forced me to the ground a few times.


These two guys, especially, picked up on it right away.