When you set up a domino, you’re putting part of it up high. Can you think of any other situation where putting something ‘up high’ causes something special to happen?
DISCUSS (1 of 2):
Can a domino knock down one that’s just slightly bigger than itself?
Try doing this yourself if you can. You can use books if you don’t have dominoes. Or you can go to the next slide to see a video of us doing it.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED:
It worked! A domino has just enough energy to knock down a domino that’s slightly bigger than itself. Now that you know this, go to the next slide.
DISCUSS (2 of 2):
CHALLENGE: Do you think there could be a way to knock down something REALLY big, like a domino as tall as a building, using only smaller dominoes?
Draw a picture if you can think of an idea.
In terms of energy, why is it possible to use something the size of a brick to knock down something the size of a small house?
Can you explain this? Make a drawing if it’s helpful.
Think about: Where is there stored energy? Where does the stored energy come from?
Why do you think scientists call falling dominoes a “chain reaction”?
La Macchina Botanica (The Botanical Machine) starts when a ball rolls down a ramp and ends by watering a plant. Watch the video for fun. Then watch it again, looking for places that energy is stored. Can you identify where energy is stored and how energy is transferred from one object to another.
Some questions to talk about:
Looking at the chain reactions that other people have built will give you ideas for your own chain reaction. There are many chain reactions online. Here are some of our favorites.
If you don’t have dominoes but you want to make a long contraption that will fall down in an interesting way, you’re in luck. All you need to make a herringbone chain is popsicle or craft sticks and paper cups.
This 7-minute video from Kinetic King Tim Fort tells you everything you need to know.