Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hockey Science

Have you ever watched hockey and thought about the puck?

How fast is it going? And how does it go so fast?

Those questions inspired a fun winter science project: Hockey Science.

What slides better on ice? Find out in this fun hockey science experiment for kids.

Can you combine hockey with science? Of course you can!

We don't have any hockey players in our family, but we definitely have hockey fans. Hockey is a hugely popular sport here in Minnesota for both girls and boys. We thought we'd have a little fun with hockey and turned it into a simple science experiment.

Our question: What will slide on ice?

Before we started our project, I needed to do a little prep.

I created a two-sided chart. The first side for our predictions and the second side for our results.

I also prepped a box of different items we already had on hand: glass marbles, muffin-tin crayons, milk jug caps, a rough piece of bark, a rough rock, puff balls, and small squares of felt.

Finally, I set a large sheet pan outside and filled it with water. Our sub-zero temperatures guaranteed that the water would freeze faster outside than in our own freezer. Brrrrrr! Stick your pan in the freezer if your day isn't as cold as mine.

Make a prediction - form your hypothesis.

I showed my oldest (age 5 1/2) the items and asked her if she thought they would slide easily on the ice. I had her make her predictions by making an "x" in the appropriate box, "slide" or "not slide".

Create your hypothesis by forming a statement: I predict ___________ will slide and ice and ____________ will not slide.

The experiment.

The experiment's always the fun part, isn't it?

It was time to see how well everything slid. We brought in our frozen sheet pan and started sliding our objects across it. My oldest marked our results the same way as she did our predictions.

We discovered that felt and pom poms didn't slide like we thought they would. And those glass marbles, wow! They slid the best! 

Our conclusion.

The item that were smooth and light slid better than the items that were rough or soft.

Why? We were exploring friction with our hockey science project. The rough (or fuzzy) items had more friction which slowed the objects down. The smoother the item, the less friction which meant they slid more quickly across the ice.

By now, we had a good idea as to why a hockey puck looks like it does. But, how fast do those things really go?

Hockey pucks generally travel over 100 miles per hour and the fastest hockey shot clocked in at 110.3 miles per hour. (Source: Guinness Book of World Records) Wow!

You may also like on of these fun science projects:

Hot Chocolate Science

Chemical Reactions with Pennies

Will It Float? Making Boats

Ice and Snow Experiments at Inspiration Laboratories

How to Make a Magnifying Glass from Ice at Schooling a Monkey

For more fun science projects, please follow my Science Play Pinterest Board:

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  1. This is such a fun idea! My little hockey lovers will love this.

  2. Great idea for a science project! I was a figure skater, and I was always fascinated with the science of how our blades ran over the ice.

  3. My son would go bonkers for this one!! I would love to invite you to join us at Share It Saturday. We have lots of wonderful contributors each week, linking up educational play, tips, crafts, and more. We would love to see this post and more from you...You would fit right in!
    We also have a group Pinterest board we are inviting all contributors to's a great way to gain new viewers for your posts. The link to the Pinterest board in on our linky party post. I hope to see you there!
    Colleen at Sugar Aunts :)

  4. I love this!!! Thanks for sharing. Check out how to do frozen balloons at my site:
    thanks for sharing!

  5. This is fantastic! Can't wait to try it out with the kids!


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