Exploring Physics in Spark Studio Week 2


After a fascinating trip to Austin, filled with connection and inquiry with fellow guides across the world, this week began with new ideas and excitement for learning that is driven by heroes.

How can young heroes begin to have a basic concept of how physics works unless they have a chance to explore and experiment with it freely? Our playground design quest continues to be built on the foundation of knowledge developed from these playful experiences. Heroes made inclined planes out of cardboard, wood, and even our whiteboards as they tested for distance and speed of toys cars. Our math provocation table challenged heroes to create a maze and then figure out how they could move the marble through it and many were quick to see how the use of an inclined plane aided this process. Heroes spent an afternoon honing fine motor skills and working hard to drive screws into wooden planks. The final simple machine we explored this week was the wedge and by using wedge shaped tools, heroes carved designs into bars of soap and enjoyed the sensory experience of a studio that smelled particularly fresh.

After intentional goal setting and focused work each morning, heroes prepared for a field trip to The Building Museum. We discussed what goes into planning and designing a city. The topic of empathy was brought up in discussions of who gets to decide what structures go where and how these decisions might impact residents differently. Heroes carefully considered the feelings of fellow citizens in the city they were creating. The trip culminated in an amazing show of teamwork and perseverance as heroes worked diligently to build a 7 foot arch out of foam blocks in the lobby of the museum. The building process was exciting and filled with ideas of structure and physics, but I will let the heroes tell you all the details of that endeavor.

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