Friction, it’s such a drag!

We put our scientific skills to the test in Year 5 this week as our science learning moved on to forces and mechanisms. We first thought about how forces act in pairs in opposite directions. We related this thinking to the our knowledge about the Earth in space and realised that gravity is a force which keeps u son the planet. Wouldn’t it be funny if gravity wasn’t as strong as it is, we would float everywhere!

Then we learnt about friction as a force which opposes movement in the opposite direction. We tried rubbing our hands together and found that heat is also a side-effect of friction!

We worked as a class to plan an investigation to answer the question, ‘Do different surfaces create different amounts of friction?’ Using a ramp, brick, car and a tape measure, we planned our method and thought about the variables we would change – the surface – in order to test the effect of different surfaces on the distance a car travels. Once we had collected our data, we created a graph so we could easily see the impact of friction on the car on different surfaces.

Our conclusions stated that, a rougher surface produces more friction as the car travels the least distance and a smooth surface produces less friction as the car travels further.

Well done Year 5, clearly inspired by our visit to the Science Museum last week you have worked resourcefully in your investigations today!

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