Kids love talking, and learning about superheroes. One of the classes that I cover prep for has been studying superheros in kindergarten. For science, I decided to incorporate our lesson into their study. I used Superman and Batman to show everyone a bit about gravity!
I started by giving each pair a superhero figure that was attached to a string. Originally I used yarn (as pictured). However, I later changed it and used fishing line. The line caused less friction and the figures moved better. I hot glued a piece of a straw onto the bottom of the figure so that our superhero would slide or ‘fly’.
In pairs each student was asked to hold one end of the string. They were encouraged to move the string up or down in an attempt to make their figure move, or ‘fly’. Students quickly noticed that their superhero would ‘fly’ when one end of the string was lifted higher then the other.
After partners experimented with their superhero, we then took it to a higher scale. I tied one end of my string to a long stick. With students sitting on the playground stones, I climbed to the highest point on our playground equipment. I had one student at the bottom with the other end of my very long string.
Based on their own experiment, everyone thought of a hypothesis for what they thought was going to happen when I let go of my Superman. I used the stick to help easily raise the string to an even higher point. I then let go! My superman flew towards the student at the bottom. It did not fly as fast as I had anticipated, but students were able to see that Superman did glide from a higher, to lower point.
I then asked my volunteer at the bottom, holding the string to send Superman back up top to me. Despite several attempts, we all concluded that it was gravity that puller our superhero down, but it would not help send it up. It was an easy introduction to gravity for young kids and a great way to get outside!