Academic Year 5

Year 5 students feel the force in friction tests.

As part of this term’s topic on forces, Year 5 scientists have been investigating the effects of friction on moving objects, in this case their school shoes. Mrs Hall invited students to come up with a non-slip flooring solution for a furniture company. But which surface would prove to create the greatest friction?

The girls tested their shoes by pulling them at a constant speed with a Newton meter across a range of surfaces, including the concrete outside in the quad, plus grass, rubber, carpet, vinyl and wood. After drawing tables and bar charts to show their answers, they shared the results.

The fact that not all the conclusions were comparable led to a class discussion. Some students found that the diverse ages of the shoes made a difference as some had less tread than others, making them smoother. Others realised they had to carry out the same check on the same area to get a fair test. If they pulled the shoe uphill they recorded a greater force because gravity was involved. Pulling their shoe across worn grass as opposed to bumpy also produced anomalies.


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