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Science Matters with The National WWII Museum

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The National WWII Museum was a part of The National Science Teachers Association Regional Conference in New Orleans from November 10-12.  To help with the Museum’s initiative to showcase the scientific discoveries, advancements, and improvements made during World War II, our education staff attended three days of activities and workshops.  The highlight of the conference for us was Saturday morning’s “Science Matters Community Day.”  This free event welcomed hundreds of area students to explore hands-on activities from over 30 participating organizations.

The Museum’s activity helped students understand the energy of motion by creating a simple toy racer from a wooden spool.   All through the event, teachers and parents escorted students to our area to reinforce the potential and kinetic energy concepts recently studied at school.  The students quickly learned how to assemble their toy racers and challenged each other to make them go faster and farther.  Soon, the goal became puncturing a block of foam on the end of the table.  In addition to the lessons about energy, lessons on tension and friction became readily apparent to all participants.

Instructions to make your own spool racer

Working with NSTA to reach out to students locally and nationally is just one of our science initiatives at the Museum.  Our website on the science and technology of WWII has provided 14,000 posters to classroom teachers.  A virtual field trip on this subject is available from our distance learning program.  An on-site field trip highlighting the discoveries and advancements in science, technology, and engineering during WWII is in development.  These lessons in science and technology are another way to help us teach young Americans how an event 70 years ago has practical applications to their lives today.

This post by Louisiana History Day Coordinator Nathan Huegen.

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