Year 4, Term 2: Transportation
Scope and sequence: Exponents, Velocity, Acceleration, Relative motion, Hydraulics
explore common modes of transportation to develop an
integrated understanding of forces, materials, energy and
Australian Curriculum (version 9.0)
"A student investigates the suitability of natural and processed materials for a range of purposes." (ST2-7MW-T)
"Students learn to describe how forces and the properties of materials affect function in a product or system." (AC9TDE4K02)
Introduction to transportation
Skateboards, roller skates and roller blades
Conservation of energy
The law of conservation of energy states that energy can
neither be created nor destroyed - only converted from one form of
energy to another. The following video (1:36) demonstrates this
with vivid examples of kinetic and potential energy.
Kinetic energy is the energy that an object has because of its motion. The formula for kinetic energy is:
Bicycles and gears
Gears were explained in SILO 4.1
'Simple machines' so the focus here will be on brakes and fixed-wheel
Newton's three laws of motion
Newton's three laws of motion are explained in the following video (3:32). These laws were first stated by Isaac Newton in 1687. The three laws may be summarised as follows:
Boats and buoyancy
This video (1:56) from ABC news explains how nuclear-powered submarines work and how they compare to other types of submarines. In light of the AUKUS alliance, working on nuclear submarines will require many more engineers worldwide, and particularly here in Australia.
This video (2:02) explains how acceleration is the rate at
which velocity changes over time. It also features some examples
of how to use mathematics to calculate the average acceleration.
This video (5:18) is more advanced than Year 4 children would normally encounter but the main points are that wheels turn at different speeds when cornering and that gears are one way to enable this. Students will also explore how wheels on a non-fixed axle such as on a pram or billy cart are free to turn at different rates.
Internal combustion engines
Air pressure experiments
The following video (10:18) is about straws and it explains that suction is really a difference in pressure. It also makes the point that "Nothing sucks in science".
Frame of reference
Direction is relative as shown in this video (0:47) where
clockwise and anti-clockwise depend on your frame of reference.
The following video (6:26) on relative motion is an
important introduction to the idea that everything is in constant
motion. Related terms include 'frame of reference'.
Pascal's principle states that the pressure applied to any
part of an enclosed liquid will be transmitted equally in all directions
through the liquid. The following screenshot is from a video
(3:22) about the application of Pascal's law in hydraulics. It
shows the formula for comparing both sides of a hydraulic jack.