Activity

Elastic band stretch

Summary
Hang a weight on elastic bands and measure how far they stretch, to compare their stretchiness. Students can experiment with linking together bands.
Science content
Chemistry: States of Matter, Properties of Materials (K-7)
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Materials
  • masking tape
  • elastic band selection
  • tubs for elastic bands
  • baggie containing two rolls of coins, or other weight
  • hook
  • worksheet with ruler on it or ruler/measuring tape
Procedure

Discuss stretchiness as a property of a materials, and tell students they will compare how stretchy different elastic bands are.
Demonstrate how to tape an elastic band over the top of a desk, with a loop hanging down. Hang the weight on the band, then measure from the top of the band to the bottom of the band.
Students should compare the stretchiness of different bands. Then they can try doubling up the bands and looping them together to measure their combined stretchiness.

At the molecular level, stretchy materials have molecules that are curled up and coiled. When the materials is stretched, they uncoil and straighten out, but when released return to their coiled form.

Attached documents
Grades taught
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Teaching site
Selkirk Elementary
Shaughnessy Elementary