May the Force be with You: Physical Science and your Child


Creating a building with gumdrops 

The California Department of Education states “We are all born with natural curiosity about our world. Science is an extension of this curiosity. When we read about a new discovery, watch a bird fly, or think about how something works, we are doing science. When we pursue knowledge we are doing science.” Unfortunately many adults have at least one bad memory from Science Class. Others tell me, “I cannot volunteer in Science class, I am not good at science.”

We owe it to ourselves, our future and our children to learn to love science. As I tell the students, “Science is everywhere!” and I promise Science isn’t scary! I hope I can help you and your child learn to love science.

Your elementary school child may need help to realize that physics is a part of science; they mainly think of mad scientists in a lab with beakers and potions as the only thing that is really science. Make a game with your child to find bridges, new buildings and any construction. Tell them they are an architect and help them to BUILD! Legos are great but it is great to be able to eat your buildings!
As part of our simple machines unit, on of our favorite activities is to build houses out of gumdrops and toothpicks and then draw our creations on this gum drop paper!
You can also try these great sites with your child:
All about simple machines: try to find ten simple machines in each room of the house, (you can email me if you get stuck! There is at least one sneaky machine in each room!)
Friction: Find the best track surfaces to make the car go the furthest.
Forces in Action: How far will the truck go?

Race Car Party

Enjoy learning about forces (a force is a push or pull) with these great online sites. Encourage your future architect or engineer with some great books from the incredible National Women’s History Project. March is Women’s History Month and the 2011 theme is “Our History is our Strength.”
Here’s hoping that the force will be with you as you and your child explore physical science!

Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. With over 12 years of classroom teaching experience and an additional 11 years working in camps and on cruise ships, you will always get great science experiments and experiential learning from Lisa.

First published at:

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.

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