I was bored, so I was flipping through the Usborne Science Encyclopedia. Yes I actually do stuff like that when I am bored.
I came across a drawing of a graphite molecule. Graphite is made out of carbon, which is a very cool element. It can be arranged into molecules of pure carbon that are different shapes. The book showed how it could be make into graphite, buckminsterfullerene (so awesome it deserves its own post sometime), or diamonds.
In graphite the carbon atoms are arranged in flat sheets.
The graphite stood out to me because Elijah is working on his Pinewood Derby car, and we had just put graphite on the wheels. I showed him the picture of the graphite and asked him why it would make a good lubricant for the wheels. After thinking for a minute, he said that it did not have bumps in it so it would not have much friction. Correct!
To drive home the point, I handed him 2 whiteboards (being the smoothest flat things I could find) and had him rub them together.
This was not part of some set science curriculum, but it is the moments like these that they will remember. If you can grab those moments when you can teach about things that are actually affecting their lives, kids will learn.
P.S. Note the Oxford comma in the title. I like the Oxford comma. Maybe I will blog about it sometime.