Einstein Class Ideas

Hello

I am a teachers assistant for a one week summer camp class entitled "Time Space and Einstein" and are in ideas for demonstratiosn for the class. The class consists of students going into 6-8th grade. Anything that you think could keep the attention of kids who don't like equations or math. They are the kind of kids who like fire, explosions, and talking about nuclear energy. If you have any suggestions of demonstrations or any suggestions of topics to cover for the class please share them...

Thanks..
tom
 

robphy

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A title of "Time Space and Einstein"... but no equations or math?
Hmmm....


Sorry... this one has an equation.

Have them calculating the ratio of circumference to diameter for various circles.
Of course, you get pi when you use circles (of any size) on a plane.... but try this on various curved surfaces, like a basketball or (using a long tape measure) on a mound or valley.
 
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*thinks like a 6th to 8th grader*

Hmm... the first thing that comes to mind is Einstein's hair. Perhaps you could use that as an introduction, or maybe that picture of him with his tongue sticking out. That should at least capture their attention so you can progress into the mathematics, hence presenting it as a fun topic.
 

robphy

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How about the "Powers of Ten"?

http://www.powersof10.com/
(At one point, I thought they made available a low-res version on the web... I can't find it.)
 
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Tell them what is 'space' and what is 'time' and then try to convince them that both are inter-related. Tell them world is like an invisible net and we all produce dents in it because we have mass , take an example of a fat boy in the class and say that he is denting the spacetime the most , he has a Great Gravitational Field .Take a basketball and press it , tell them just like my thump makes a dent , a mass does the same with spacetime.

BJ
 
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what's about gravitation for laymen? try to place balls on a membrane with a grid. That may be tricky as any good presentation.
Expanding baloon is a good example of a closed expanding universe.
As to explosions, the safe solution could be a good powerpoint presentation about nuclear reactions.
what's about some clips from Star Trek with little discussion?
 

robphy

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Following up on shyboy's powerpoint about nuclear reactions,
here is a useful demo... with videos:
http://www.ap.stmarys.ca/demos/content/modern/mousetrap_reactor/mousetrap_reactor.html [Broken]
 
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Dr.Brain said:
take an example of a fat boy in the class and say that he is denting the spacetime the most , he has a Great Gravitational Field .
that is so harsh!!!! the kid will never recover!!!
 

amt

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Have 4 students hold a blanket and place a bowling ball in the middle. Now roll a small marble around the bowling ball. The bowling ball is the Sun and the marble is the Earth. The blanket is space. Explain how the blanket bends to hold the ball and hence space curves.

Have a student smaller in stature stand by you and explain how both you and the student exert force on each other. But since you are heavier, you are exerting more force oh him than he is on you. But all this is not noticeable since the Gravity of the earth is so huge that these small forces are not noticeable.

Talking about explosions here is a good one:
Explain how the Sun constantly converts Hyrdogen into Helium. 90% of the hydrogen is converted to Helium. The other 10% is lost to heat and light which we see on Earth. This loss can be explained by E=MC2 which is actually the energy we see on Earth.
 
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definetly don't call anyone fat... especially girls...

the blanket and bowling ball thing is a nice way to physically show things about space time. same with the baloon. once you describe the basics, try to explain some of the paradoxes. kids have a lot of fun thinking about and discussing those. you can also mention like, black holes... they're destructive, and kids really like to think of those too. you can ask them what sorts of things they wished they could throw in the black hole... (teachers, little brothers... ect) and then explain what'd happen to the thing when they did. you could also mention how when they look out into the sky, they're looking at stars that burned years and years ago. that always amazed me when i was little... its like looking through time...
 

robphy

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amt said:
how both you and the student exert force on each other. But since you are heavier, you are exerting more force oh him than he is on you.
Recall Newton III.
 
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Gale17 said:
definetly don't call anyone fat... especially girls...
Good point
 

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