A Genius Idea

Activities for Secondary I to V

Duration: 10 to 50 minutes

Your students will explore several major physical principles as they participate in fun, educational science activities that also meet the objectives of the Québec Education Program.
Our turnkey projects each come with a kit that includes a teaching guide, a student handout, educational and audiovisual material, and a list of the materials needed to complete the activity. The materials are easy to adapt to your students’ grade level and amount of class time you wish to devote to the activity.

Watch your students become engineers with our science activities!

And the best news? It’s free! So grab your materials and get cracking!

To Catapult to the Top

You played the game. You saw the movie. You even watched them on TV. You know what we’re talking about: Angry Birds, those feathered menaces we love to catapult into constructions. But it’s not easy to get them to land where we want. Do you pull the sling farther back? Maybe a little more to the right? Aim up just a smidge?

Which student will be the first to hit the target with their catapult? There are plenty of variables to take into account, such as the weight of the ball, which elastic to choose, what launch angle to use, and how much force to apply.

Physical principles explored: principle of levers, stored energy and energy conversion, air resistance, and parabolic trajectory.

To Make Every Drop Count

Have you ever looked out the window when it rained and wondered at the strange, mysterious behaviour of the raindrops as they slid down the glass?

Your students will explore that behaviour as they test how many drops of water they can fit on a five-cent coin. Which drop will be one drop too many?

Physical principles explored: water properties (more specifically, the surface tension of water) and the infinitely small (atoms, charges and bonds).

For an Electrific Pick

In the recycling industry, magnets are used to sort magnetic materials from other recyclables. Some magnets are even strong enough to lift cars. Pretty neat, right?

During this activity, your students will simulate a sorting centre and create a magnet to separate metals from other objects. But no sticky fingers allowed in this equation—let the magnet do all the work. They’ll have to come up with a genius idea to “sort” this challenge out!

Physical principles covered: magnetism, electromagnetism, and magnetic fields.

Reach for the Sky

The Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates is a whopping 828 metres high, which makes it the tallest skyscraper in the world! But how does it remain upright and withstand strong gusts of wind?

In this activity, your students will need to come up with genius ideas for building the tallest and straightest tower possible. Only materials listed in the activity will be allowed. No cheating!

Physical principles explored: gravity, equilibrium of forces, and relative strength of materials.

An Epic Celebration

A strange virus has infected your students, weakening their lungs. The problem? They can’t blow up balloons for the surprise party they’re throwing for their favourite teacher. Not to worry—they always have a few tricks up their sleeves!

Using the proposed materials, have your students pick their brains to come up with an ingenious way to inflate a balloon without blowing into it.

Physical principles explored: gas and fluid laws (why air expands when heated, conservation of mass) and the law of volumes.

For an Uplifting Crane

What do car trunk doors and cranes have in common? They both use hydraulic pistons. Why is it better to use water instead of air? How do cranes lift such giant loads? Your students will search for the answers to these questions.

Together in teams, they’ll build a crane equipped with a hydraulic arm!

Physical principles explored: incompressible fluids, equilibrium of forces, pressure applied to a liquid (Pascal’s principle), and the conservation of volume.