Science Investigation Using Friction

Here's a science investigation using friction that is super easy to set up, super impressive, super effective and super strong ... and that's probably enough use of the word super! Except, I forgot to mention that it was super fun! Okay ... that's the end of the super word usage, I promise! :o

A Science Investigation Using Friction

Getting back to the science investigation using friction ... did you know that you can stick two books together so they can't be pulled apart just by using friction. Yes, that's right ... there's NO glue in this investigation.

The Objective of this Science Investigation using Friction

... is to explore the powerful force of friction.

Here's the "How" of this Science Investigation Using Friction

This has to be one of the easiest science investigations to set up ever. All you need to do is to:

  • Start with two books of roughly the same size.
  • Interleave two books together

  • Lay them next to each other and begin to overlay the pages, alternating one on top of another. In this way, the pages of the two books are intertwined together. This takes a little time but it's definitely worth it.

    Two books nestled together

    By the end of the process, you'll have two books which look like this.

  • Now comes the fun part. Try and pull them apart.
  • We tried ...

    Try to pull the books apart by their spines

    and tried ...

    Try to pull the books apart by their spines

    and tried ...

    Try to pull the books apart by their spines

    and tried ...

    Try to pull the books apart by their spines

    but to no avail. Those books were stuck together as if someone had used glue on them.

How Does this Science Investigation using Friction work?

The pages of the book were stuck to together due to friction. Friction is the force that resists motion when two surfaces are in contact. As the surface of the pages from each book touch each other, they create a friction which in effect sticks them together. The multiple surfaces of paper create an incredible amount of force which is why it is impossible to pull the books apart.

Here's a fun video the boys enjoyed watching which shows a similiar science investigation using friction in action.

Extension Activity

Now that we know many pages interfaced create an enormous amount of friction and makes the books impossible to pull apart, what do you think would happen if fewer pages were interfaced together? This is something to investigate.

Grover Bill and the Geckos

Any More Science Investigations using Friction?

We really enjoyed this science investigation using friction as it was easy to set up and seemed to go against everything we predicted would happen. It was fantastic fun watching the boys being amazed by something so simple. Isn't that the joy of life ... being amazed by even the most simply things!

We're keen to engage in some more science investigations using friction. Do have any favourites? We'd love to hear about them. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or on our facebook page.

An Incredibly "Sticky" Creature!

While we're on the subject of incredible things that stick together (e.g., two books with interleaved pages), have you ever wondered how geckos 'stick' to walls and ceilings with effortless ease? They are the most amazing creatures! Check out Grover Bill and the Geckos and see what our geckos, which defy gravity, get up to. They're pretty incredible too!

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Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.

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