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Energizing Everything Unit
Mystery 4 of 8
Could you knock down a building using only dominoes?
Could you knock down a building using only dominoes?
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DISCUSS:

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?

Hint...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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DISCUSS:

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?

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DISCUSS:

Why do you think scientists call falling dominoes a “chain reaction”?

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Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading, and extension activity in the extensions.

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# Extensions

###### Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
• Video & Discussion: Trace the path of energy in an amazing chain reaction.
• Reading : Rube Goldberg — cartoonist and engineer.
• Videos: Fun videos that will inspire you.
• Activity: A chain reaction made of craft sticks and paper cups.
• Online simulation: Build a chain reaction challenge online.
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# Watch and Discuss

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.

• What makes a pendulum swing?
• Can you find any levers that aren’t horizontal?
• Does this give you any ideas for a chain reaction you could make on a bulletin board?
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# Ideas from Experts

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.

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# Activity: Herringbone Chains

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.

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 Exploration 28 min Hands-On Activity 30 min Wrap-Up 2 min
Overview
 Grade 4th Topic Energy, Motion, & Electricity Focus Energy Transfer & Engineering
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students construct an explanation of how energy is stored, released, and transferred in chain reactions, such as falling dominoes. In the activity, Build a Chain Reaction (Part I), students are presented with an engineering design challenge to create their own chain reaction machine--a project they will continue in Mystery 5. Students experiment with a “Chain-Reaction Starter Kit.” This kit includes a lever and a ramp, which serve as the first two steps of a chain-reaction machine.

Number of students:
 Must be at least 1/2" in diameter because it will serve as the fulcrum of a lever. Details 30 markers 30 rulers 30 pairs 30 cups We prefer stickers because they are easier to distribute in a classroom. Or pieces of tape. Details 90 labels 30 clips Cup cannot be more than 4" tall. Details 30 cups 30 bands 1/2" marbles will also work. Details 30 marbles Chain-Reaction Starter Kit printout Print 30 copies Marble Corral printout Print 30 copies

We recommend that students work in pairs. Homeschool students can work on their own, but will need a partner to help with some steps.