I have an easy STEM (science/physics) activity to share with you today that my little preschooler and I did. It’s tons of fun because you literally get to play with your food, and it’s a great way to demonstrate the difference between rolling and gliding, as well as how lubricants and molecules affect movement and friction between two objects.
Since Easter is right around the corner, I figure this is the perfect way to use up all the Easter Eggs lying around.
Boiled Eggs that have been peeled (To peel an egg easily, crack the shell, place egg in a cup of water and shake vigorously, then remove peel with a spoon)
Flat glass surface (table or dish)
Supplies to make goals (I taped pool noodles to our table but if you are using a dish you could use popsicle sticks)
Pretend hockey sticks (We used spatulas and our hands)
1. Set up your hockey table. Set the egg on the table and try to slide it across. You should notice that it will roll instead of glide.
2. Add water (lubricant) to the surface of the table covering it completely. Now try and slide your egg across the table. It should gently glide across. If it doesn’t add more water. I used a marker to draw a dot on our egg to make a visual reference that made it easier to tell if the egg was gliding or rolling.
To explain this activity we talked about how water molecules make it easier for the egg to slide across the surface because water is a liquid an reduces friction because the molecules are loose. We checked out our sand as a visual model of water molecules and put some on the ground. We tried to slide our foot on the ground without sand, and then with sand. Just like our hockey activity, the second try was the easiest.
After all the discussion we just played and had a great time! Now it’s your turn to play a round of Egg Table Hockey.