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
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
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
- Simple Machines
- Seed Dispersal
FALLING OBJECTS -- Race to the Ground!
Gravity & Air Resistance [Gr. 3-8]
Drag Forces & Terminal Speed [Gr. 7-12]
- 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
- 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]
Tree Dimensions & Volumetric Modeling [Gr. 7-12]
- 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
- 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]
Pulleys & Mechanical Advantage [Gr. 5-10]
- 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
- 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]
Dropping Real Seeds: Flyers vs. Rollers [Gr. 5-10]
- 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
- 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