May the Force be with You: Physical Science and your Child


Creating a building with gumdrops 

The California Department of Education states “We are all born with natural curiosity about our world. Science is an extension of this curiosity. When we read about a new discovery, watch a bird fly, or think about how something works, we are doing science. When we pursue knowledge we are doing science.” Unfortunately many adults have at least one bad memory from Science Class. Others tell me, “I cannot volunteer in Science class, I am not good at science.”

We owe it to ourselves, our future and our children to learn to love science. As I tell the students, “Science is everywhere!” and I promise Science isn’t scary! I hope I can help you and your child learn to love science.

Your elementary school child may need help to realize that physics is a part of science; they mainly think of mad scientists in a lab with beakers and potions as the only thing that is really science. Make a game with your child to find bridges, new buildings and any construction. Tell them they are an architect and help them to BUILD! Legos are great but it is great to be able to eat your buildings!
As part of our simple machines unit, on of our favorite activities is to build houses out of gumdrops and toothpicks and then draw our creations on this gum drop paper!
You can also try these great sites with your child:
All about simple machines: try to find ten simple machines in each room of the house, (you can email me if you get stuck! There is at least one sneaky machine in each room!)
Friction: Find the best track surfaces to make the car go the furthest.
Forces in Action: How far will the truck go?

Race Car Party

Enjoy learning about forces (a force is a push or pull) with these great online sites. Encourage your future architect or engineer with some great books from the incredible National Women’s History Project. March is Women’s History Month and the 2011 theme is “Our History is our Strength.”
Here’s hoping that the force will be with you as you and your child explore physical science!

Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. With over 12 years of classroom teaching experience and an additional 11 years working in camps and on cruise ships, you will always get great science experiments and experiential learning from Lisa.

First published at:

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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