Truckee Elementary School | Science in action | SierraSun.com

Truckee Elementary School | Science in action

Dawn RintalaSpecial to the Sun

Courtesy Dawn RintalaTruckee Elementary students learned about gravity during a hands-on science trip to the Truckee Donner Recreation andamp; Park District's ice rink.

TRUCKEE andamp;#8212; Truckee Elementary School second graders put science into action while skating at Regional Park!Following the classroom science investigations of balance and motion, second grade students at Truckee Elementary took their knowledge to the ice at Regional Park. In the classrooms, andamp;#8220;Students explored numerous ways to balance two-dimensional shapes by positioning counterweights in strategic locations,andamp;#8221; said teacher Jill Haky-Smith. andamp;#8220;They learned that when an object stays in position without being held, a state of equilibrium is achieved and it doesn’t fall over. Then they were able to apply that with a study of center of gravity (the point around which the body mass is equally distributed directly over the base of support).andamp;#8221; When the center of gravity strays beyond the base, you fall. The larger the base, the greater the stability. That’s where the ice skating came into play. Students observed the blades on the skates and made balance predictions based on observed patterns andamp;#8212; not random guessing. They answered questions about stability based on their balance and foot stance. andamp;#8220;If I stay balanced over my skates and bend my knees, it is easier to not fall. If I lean too far forward or back, then I lose stability,andamp;#8221; said second grader Diego Rodriguez.andamp;#8220;I skate almost every day after school,andamp;#8221; said student Sydney Fox. andamp;#8220;Putting my arms out to the sides as counterweights helps me keep my balance and go faster.andamp;#8221;Students also learned pushing down on their skates helps make the ice less slippery (increases friction) so the skater gets better balance and better control. The students had a great time applying their scientific knowledge to a physical activity while having fun with their classmates.andamp;#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com