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ERIC Number: EJ1015482
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6811
A Simple Challenge to Assist in the Understanding of Friction. Science Notes
Jheeta, Sohan
School Science Review, v94 n348 p13-15 Mar 2013
What is friction? Like gravity, friction is a type of force. In simple terms, friction is, by and large, resistance to movement when two or more objects slide past one another. In this task young people are challenged to build a "buffer" to stop a moving ball using only a piece of ordinary A4 paper or a strip cut from it; that is, without using additional materials such as glue, pins, staples or sticky tape. Sohan Jhetta, a space scientist, a visiting research fellow at the Open University (UK) and STEM Ambassador reports he has used this challenge on several occasions with both school classes and smaller community groups of children aged 11 years and upwards. Each individual has three attempts and the process of experimentation takes approximately 30 minutes. The exercise is intended to determine whether students can come up with an effective barrier (an engineering solution) rather than obtain quantitative results. However, to date no one has arrived at the same answer as Dr. Jhetta. When it is time for his demonstration and young people see how simple and effective his structure is they are keen to try it for themselves and ask many questions about how it works. What is important is that both young and old people do "have a go" and become directly involved so that they come away with something positive from the interaction. (Contains 4 figures.)
Association for Science Education. College Lane Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9AA, UK. Tel: +44-1-707-283000; Fax: +44-1-707-266532; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A