Science In A Tree
Climb a Tree and Learn Cool Science

Lesson Topics

What lesson topics are available with Science in a Tree?

Science in a Tree features lesson topics & science experiments that can only be fully explored in the great outdoors. Each lesson integrates a range of activities including elements of physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics. The science experiments are done under the direction of our education specialist, Dean Eckhoff, who is a PhD physicist with 12 years of classroom teaching experience. We're happy to work directly with the teachers to customize the program to further enhance your core curriculum & learning objectives.

We are excited to announce that a greatly expanded series of science lessons are now available. The lessons are broken up into four general subject areas:
  1. Falling Objects
  2. Photosynthesis
  3. Simple Machines
  4. Seed Dispersal
Within each area, there are two different levels of lessons that cover a wide range of student backgrounds and learning styles. Each of the eight lessons is described below including pictures taken at previous events. More detailed lesson plans are available upon request.

FALLING OBJECTS -- Race to the Ground!

Gravity & Air Resistance [Gr. 3-8]
  • Drop objects from high in the tree in a series of head-to-head races
  • Study how the object's properties affect the amount of air resistance
  • Develop a simple method to accurately predict the winners & losers
Drag Forces & Terminal Speed [Gr. 7-12]
  • Drop objects from a series of heights and measure their flight times
  • Learn about acceleration, terminal speed, and balancing forces
  • Show graphically that the objects reach a constant speed as they fall
PHOTOSYNTHESIS -- Capture the Sun!

Ground Survey of Campus Trees [Gr. 3-8]
  • Measure the height & circumference of various trees around campus
  • Learn about photosynthesis, carbon sequestration, and tree growth
  • Model the data to calculate the amount of carbon stored in the trees
Tree Dimensions & Volumetric Modeling [Gr. 7-12]
  • Measure the dimensions of the tree you're climbing in glorious detail
  • Model the tree as a series of cones & cylinders to calculate its volume
  • Use a spreadsheet to determine the tree's weight & carbon content
SIMPLE MACHINES -- Use the Force!

Pendulums & Oscillations [Gr. 3-8]
  • Be part of a giant pendulum as you swing side-to-side in the tree
  • Study the effects of mass, length, and amplitude on pendulum motion
  • Measure the oscillation time as a function of rope length / height
Pulleys & Mechanical Advantage [Gr. 5-10]
  • Create pulley systems to multiply your strength by 4 times or more
  • Measure the force and find out how it relates to distance
  • You are the laboratory weight - lift your teacher off the ground
SEED DISPERSAL -- Ride the Wind!

Origami Models of Flying Seeds [Gr. 3-8]
  • Create models of dandelion & maple seeds (parachutes & helicopters)
  • Drop them from the tree, measure flight time & average speed
  • Study seed dispersal mechanisms using common examples of seeds
Dropping Real Seeds: Flyers vs. Rollers [Gr. 5-10]
  • Drop real seeds from the tree and see how far they fly and/or roll
  • Learn about properties of seeds that affect how far they are spread
  • Measure flight time and distance to quantify the dispersal mechanisms

>>Science In A Tree   >>