Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! is a book about a spunky pigeon who really wants to drive a bus. The problem is, the bus driver tells the reader that under NO circumstances should the pigeon be allowed to drive. In honor of this determined pigeon, we decided to do a little science experiment all about feathers. Who wants to drive when you can fly?? I guess the grass is always greener.
The question of the day: Which will fall fastest? We know that a bowling ball and a tennis ball will fall to the earth at the same rate despite their weight, so why does a feather mosey it’s way to the ground long after the ball has already hit?
Start off by gathering lots of different items you can drop and compare. We used balls, blocks, spoons, and feathers. Ask the children to make predictions before each drop. Which will fall fastest? This activity should lead you to a discussion about the feather: Why does it fall at a slower rate?
The answer: Air resistance! If the feather was dropped in an environment without air, it would fall at the same rate. But here, the resistance from the air keeps it from falling as fast.
Tawni is a former special education teacher, now stay-at-home momma. She spends her days reading, cooking with lots of cheese, listening to professional choral music, and tickling her baby boy, Cy. She lives with her husband and son in Utah.