29 August 2012

Who Knew? (There's Science on YouTube)

I learned something last night, from my son.
(This is starting to become a regular habit).
This time, instead of implementing an awesome breakfast routine, he introduced me to the educational potential of YouTube.

It started with those fateful words: "Mum can you do some homework with me?"
Who could resist such a golden opportunity?
I prepare to grab pencil and paper. He says, "No mum, on the computer."
OK. Computer it is.
I can do this. I am the Google Queen.

What's the topic, son?

"Newton's Second Law of Motion."

Oh dear. I know nothing about this. Science was not my strong point at school.
Still, there's always Google, right? Google will save us.

But before I get a chance to even type in a search, he's on YouTube.
YouTube? Why?
Isn't it just for fun, full of silliness and music vids?

Oh no, my friends there is so much more to YouTube than music and P-Takes.

The first video Dash finds is "Professor Mac Explains Newton's Second Law"
A cartoon scientist "explaining" the theory. I am lost. I look over at Dash.
"Are you understanding this, son?"
Nope, he's drawing a blank too. So complicated. So hard to follow.
Sorry Professor Mac, you have a cute Scottish accent and all, but we are only nine years old (well, some of us are).

We need more ACTION. More DEMONSTRATING. And it wouldn't hurt to throw in a bit of humour too.

Me and Dash are visual learners. We won't follow wordy explanations.
But you show us how something works, and we will get it.

So this video was perfect...

It even had NASA astronauts in space demonstrating the difference between Mass and Weight.
We are starting to understand Newton's Second Law!
F=ma was starting to make sense.

This one was the clincher...

Made by high school students it was so simple and clear...
The explanation at the end even made sense of the Equation (F=ma)

"The more MASS an object has, the more FORCE is needed to Speed it up or Slow it down (ACCELERATION)."

Throw in a few of the worlds fastest cars (perfect for speed-obsessed boys) and we are discovering how  Newton's Law works for ourselves (some cars use greater horsepower - Force - and some have less "Mass" to help them go faster).

Just to make sure that we really do have it, this morning after a calm and orderly breakfast we conducted some science experiments of our own... yay we remembered what we learned last night!
Newton's Law still works this morning.
(The single CD case accelerates faster and travels further than the double CD Case when pushed with the breakfast tray along the kitchen floor.)

Dash and Mummy to the head of the Science class.
We are so very smart! We have nailed Newton's Second law of Motion, thanks to YouTube.
Who would have thought?

Thanks YouTube!

[Have you ever used YouTube for Homework?]

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