Today is Galileo Galilei’s birthday, we decided it would be a good idea to learn about this amazing scientist and inventor.
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First we learned about Galileo’s life, who he was and why his work is so important.
In order to do that we read two books:
I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen, this book has all the main information about Galileo, it is beautifully illustrated and was interesting to my 9 and 6 y.o. alike
D. read Starry Messenger by Peter Sis on his own and loved it
Galileo For Kids has a wealth of information about Galileo’s works and includes 25 activities to try at home.
Out of this book we tried a few simple experiments
1. First we did a gravity experiment by dropping an apple and a dime at the same time and learning that size or weight doesn’t affect the speed with which the object fall. After that we dropped the apple and a sheet of paper and learned that the paper’s shape allows it to float around before it falls.
2. We learned about floating objects and did an experiment with a needle first dropping it straight into a bowl of water, and second putting a piece of tissue into the water first and then dropping a needle on top of the tissue. Kids were amazed by the fact that the needle that sank just minutes before floated even after the paper sank (not for long but still)
3. We did an aperture study by cutting a diamond shape in one piece of paper and learning that we have to move closer or farther away to see the object. After that we made a pinhole in another piece of paper and looked at the lamp, kids were amazed to learn that they could the the whole lamp through such a tiny opening.
4. The book offered a very interesting math experiment of rolling three dices 100 times to see that number 10 comes up most often. Kids tested out this theory and 10 came up more often. We learned about permutations/outcomes and why the combinations of numbers make 10 and 9 appear more often.
5. And lastly, D. did a quick art project. We talked about how Galileo figured out that moon’s surface isn’t smooth or flat and how we are able to realize this because of shadows on the surface. The idea for the project is quite simple- crumple up a sheet of paper, draw first the outlines and then color in shadows starting with the light and finishing with dark grey. D. was rather tired so he chose pastels for this activity. But I think he got the idea.
That was fun, looking forward to new adventures learning about amazing people.
We did a study on Leonarda DaVinci in the past too- it can be found here