Teaching Kinetic Energy is a LOT of fun! After all, there’s nothing middle schoolers like more than movement. 😱
To give our students something to REALLY get excited about, we created this Kinetic Energy Popsicle stick chain reaction and the students were like WOW! 🙌🏻
Make Your Own Kinetic Energy Chain Reaction
After watching VIDEO after VIDEO demonstrating how to create these chains (and all of them made it look so easy) I realized it WASN’T so easy! As a result, I modified several of the suggestions and came of with this very ‘doable’ strategy….easy enough for a sixth grader (or sixth grade teacher) to do!!
Step #1: Gather Materials
✨8 ” popsicle sticks <<lots of them>>
✨2- 1 1/4” Binder Clips
✨A carpet square <<recommended but not necessary>>
✨An extra set of hands to stabilize and hold the chain as you build
✨Patience and persistence! <<definitely necessary>>
Step #2: Design the base
Arrange 3 popsicle sticks in a fan and clip the base with a binder clip.
Next, weave a 4th popsicle stick under the center stick of the fork and clip it to the other end with a binder clip.
Step #3: Begin the weave pattern
After Step #2, you’ll be weaving sticks at 2 angles. 11:00 and 7:00.
Start with an 11:00 facing stick and weave it under and then over the two right hand ‘prongs’ of the original fork. **By 11:00 stick, I mean a stick at this angle–> \ **
Continue with a 7:00 facing stick and weave it under and then over the two ‘prongs’ on the lower side of your chain. **By 11:00 stick, I mean a stick at this angle–> / **
The next stick is always the hardest! Weave an 11:00 \ stick Fit under the stick farthest to the right and balance it over the tiny remaining piece of the right hand side of the fork.
After this point the weaving gets MUCH easier.
Use a 7:00 stick / and go under and over the bottom 2 popsicle sticks on the bottom right hand side of your chain then use a 11:00 stick \ and weave it under and over the 2 popsicle sticks on the top right hand side of your chain. Repeat.
Step #4: Release!!
When you’re happy with the length of your chain, release!! Chains can be made as LONG as you want provided you don’t run out of popsicle sticks (✨or Smarticles✨)
More GREAT NGSS Ideas and Resources
Connect with ✨Your Smarticles✨ to get our latest content by email.