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Teaching Materials for Surface Tension Acting on Spheres Floating on Water with Class Practice in a Public Elementary School

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  • 水に浮かぶ球体にはたらく表面張力の教材化 : 小学校での授業実践を通して
  • ミズ ニ ウカブ キュウタイ ニ ハタラク ヒョウメン チョウリョク ノ キョウザイカ ショウガッコウ デ ノ ジュギョウ ジッセン オ トオシテ

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Abstract

Teaching materials for surface tension were developed. The materials consist of spheres floating on water. The spheres have good conductivity, so as not to become charged. The behavior of the spheres is explained by the surface tension depending on the factor of wettability. When two spheres have the same wettability (both are wet or neither is wet) an attractive force works between them; when two spheres have different wettability (one is wet and the other is not) a repulsive force works between them. The wettability of spheres can easily be determined by the shadows reflected on the bottom surface of the water-container. These facts show that these teaching materials are useful for a dynamic approach to understanding surface tension and wettability. A unit program in three class hours has been proposed to research the possible cause of the behavior of the spheres and to understand surface tension, and this program has been implemented in the integrated study classes for sixth grade students of a public elementary school in Nagano Prefecture. Our program was evaluated by observation of the activities of the students and by category analysis of the results obtained from questionnaires administered to students after each class hour. It was found that the student's learning process, including the understanding of content, the pleasure of learning, interest and concern, and learning motivation, had been enhanced.

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