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Loads and Forces

Loads and Forces

  Primary | Structures | Views: 120

You will Need:

  • A Slinky® (if you have one)
  • A large sponge – a car washing sponge is a good option
  • A range of different objects: a tower made of stickle bricks/Lego® bricks, string, elastic bands, uncooked spaghetti (not much!), straws, cardboard tubes…your choice!

What to Do:

This activity helps you learn about:

Tension: If you have a slinky, try holding each end and pulling your hands apart. What do you notice happening to the Slinky®? This is tension. This is a force that always tries to make things longer. You can think of it as a stretching force.

Compression: If you have a sponge, place it on a flat surface and push down hard. What do you notice happening to the sponge? This is compression. This is a force that always tries to make things short or smaller. You can think of it as a squashing force.

Testing Materials: Using all of the different materials you have collected, test whether the materials seem stronger under tension, compression or both? What happens if you squash or stretch the material? Does it break or ‘deform’ (change shape)?

For further details on this activity from the Rochester Bridge Trust, click here


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