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A Salute to Sir Isaac Newton!

This month we consider motion, gravity, and Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and demonstrate a very cool activity that reinforces Newton’s First Law of Motion (and gravity) in a fun and memorable way. All it takes is a raw egg, clear drinking glass, water, non-breakable pie plate and toilet paper tube.  

But before we start “slinging” eggs, let’s learn a little about Sir Isaac Newton.  After all, he is considered one of the most important scientists in history. Even Albert Einstein said that Isaac Newton was the smartest person who ever lived. During his lifetime Newton developed the theory of gravity, the laws of motion (which became the basis for physics), a new type of mathematics called calculus, and made breakthroughs in the area of optics such as the reflecting telescope.

In grade school you probably learned Newton’s apple story around the time you learned about Washington cutting down the cherry tree and the Pilgrims celebrating the first Thanksgiving with their native American friends. Since neither of these stories proved to be true, you probably have your doubts about whether Newton actually sat under an apple tree and had a “eureka” moment concerning gravity, either.

It might surprise you to learn, then, that Newton was indeed sitting under an apple tree when he had his so-called “eureka” moment on how gravity worked.

Although, it took him over two decades more to develop the fully-fledged theory of “universal gravitation” and he also didn’t complete it without some ideas others had already come up with, such as Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke, and Edmond Halley (of Halley’s comet fame). So perhaps “eureka” is an exaggeration. From accounts, he was more just put on the correct path while musing under the tree.

Further, it would seem that the apple didn’t fall directly on his head- at least there is no documented evidence of this. But if you discount the notion that he near instantly fleshed out his universal theory and the “fell on his head” bit, the common story is pretty accurate.

And through that we begin to understand gravity, the mysterious force that makes everything fall down towards the Earth.

Newton is credited with many well-known quotes. Perhaps one of the most inspiring is this:If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” As for our budding Quirkles scientists and many, many others, they have stood on the shoulders of the giant Sir Isaac Newton.

Posted: May 2, 2021

Experiments

Mary Motion’s Plummeting Egg

5/2/21

This month we celebrate Sir Isaac Newton. He is credited with the quote, “What goes up, must come down.” Let’s just see about that! This activity might take some practice, but it’s worth the effort!

 

X.E. Ecology’s Earth Model

4/1/21

There’s more to Earth than meets the eye! Learn about what’s under the surface and discover that Earth has an inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust. Who knew so much was under the ground that we walk on!

A Quirkles Leprechaun Concoction

3/1/21

We just couldn’t pass up a St. Patrick’s Day science teaching opportunity. This month we make a “leprechaun’s potion” for you to share. Check this and all the other fun experiments out via our newsletter archives or Quirkles® YouTube channel!

Yawning Yolanda's Blood Candy

1/31/21

This is the month of hearts and candy.  We look at both and learn about the components of blood.

Rainbow Snake Bubbles

12/29/20

While Bubbly Burt didn’t make the final 26 Quirkles cut, he’s still near and dear to our heart. After all, there’s a lot to be learned from bubbles! While this activity is not in any of our books, it’s a great one. Also use your bubble mixture to try Lindy Light’s Color Spectrum or Ellie Electricity’s Static Balloon Investigation. Both of these activities are found in the More Quirkles Experiment book.

 

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