Amazing Domino Chain Reaction (phenomenon)

Contributor
The Q
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Animation/Movie , Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

In this video, the creator shows how he designed a chain reaction in which a tiny block topples a much larger one. Teachers may want to introduce the video using actual blocks. "How could we topple a large block (or a book) using a tiny block?" As students watch, have them observe how energy is being transferred as objects collide. They can then ask questions or define problems that involve engineering a chain reaction that shows energy transfer. Students could generate a list of variables that might affect energy transfer, such as the shape, weight, size, or orientation of the objects. From this list, they could generate testable questions and develop investigations. This video can stand alone or be used with the related resource OK Go Chain Reaction video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w&list=PLF5563A1788629806&index=3

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 3
  • Upper Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

4-PS3-3 Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the change in the energy due to the change in speed, not on the forces, as objects interact.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of energy.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
As students watch the video, they can make notes about what they notice and wonder. After watching the video once all the way through, watch it again, pausing to give students the opportunity to discuss their observations. There are many opportunities to investigate how energy is changing as objects collide. For example, why does the energy from the small falling domino topple all the dominoes? (Each domino has energy stored because it is positioned vertically.) What happens if we compare the energy in an empty rolling soda can with a full one? (A heavier rolling object has more energy.) Students should then be given the opportunity to explore energy transfer in chain reaction machines by creating their own. During this phase, students will be able ask questions and predict outcomes as they investigate energy transfer. This information could be recorded in a diagram, using arrows to denote energy transfer, and noting the evidence they discover as they conduct investigations.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
As students explore chain reactions they will be able to define a design problem. This could be done in small groups, or the class could work on a whole-class chain reaction. The possibilities are limitless. How can we topple a large object with a small one? How can we topple many objects? How can we lift a heavy object with a light one? The students and the teacher will have to determine what the goal(s) will be and the constraints.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This video focuses on energy transfer due to collisions of objects. Further investigations could include discussions of friction and how it causes surrounding materials to heat up. Even something as simple as rubbing hands or blocks together can illustrate this point. Students will then need to apply that concept to their own energy transfer investigations. Students should also note that sound is created as objects collide.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
As noted above, through discussion and investigation, students should be able to identify that energy is being transferred as the motion of one block causes the motion of another block. The initial source of the energy can be traced back to the sun. The energy in the man’s arm came from his food, which got energy from the sun.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -