Summer Time is… Tunnel Time?
Science permeates everything in our lives, beyond our everyday curriculum with our children, especially in the summer. We breathe the fresh summer air (environmental science). We use our bodies on the playground and the beach (biology). We make yummy summer meals with cold fruits and veggies (chemistry). Summer is a great time to explore physics, too! How?
Look for a tunnel.
This is the prime season to get to the backyard or the local park and do some digging. Children may find they are tunneling in the dirt to plant seeds in the garden. They may dig for rocks and creatures at the beach in the sand. They can also look for animal and bug tunnels. That ant hill near the sidewalk leads to a vast tunnel system of transporting food for fellow ants. The large one in the backyard under the shady tree, though– that could be a snake hole, or a cozy rabbit, but either way, beware!
Tunnel hunting poses many fun and teachable moments. And the structure of basic tunnels is actually a foundational concept in physics. Tunnels can be found in our drinks (straws) in our bathrooms (pipes) and even the paper towel roll in the kitchen. Many fun crafts are made with toilet paper tubes, such as intricately designed mazes for the family hamster, or mazes to tape to the side of the art easel to test gravity – just slide a few marbles down, change the angles of the tubes, and see what happens!
Experimentation is a crucial aspect of science curriculums. Students ponder, observe, make hypotheses, and conduct a procedure, to come to a conclusion (or more questions!). Turn this summer into one of wonder and science!
Check out your local library to find out more on tunnels, or visit Amazon to peek at books regarding this fascinating idea in science:
Dr. Jeanette Moore is a certified educator in New York, Vermont, Connecticut and South Carolina. She is an established author and frequently contributes to magazines and lesson compilations, including The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, Spider Magazine, Highlights for Children, and the lesson guide for the National Fragile X Association. Jeanette has published math games for Nasco, including the P.E.M.D.A.S. Color Code. She also writes math and science books for Nomad Press, as well as workbooks for Carson Dellosa Publishing. Jeanette is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She is the mother of little Maya Jillian.