Montessori Science: Physics Experiments

The physics/science exercises are extremely important. They are the earliest introduction of the child to the concrete experience of the process of physics, which the child can repeat at will. She has no such control of them in life. We are not teaching physics, we are only sowing the seeds of interest: seeds of awe and wonderment at the phenomena of nature. These experiments are the very essential and integral part of the fundamental need of cosmic education. Introduce them to the child and them stand back, observe, and let her draw her own conclusions. All the cultural subjects have a two-fold purpose: to arouse the child’s interest and to give her the sensorial tools with which to classify her experiences.--Ursula Thrush

Here is an outline from my 6 to 9 Montessori training manual, "History of Creation Experiments Outline": First you need to do some experiments with the children to spark their imaginations before going on to present the history of creation (first story in the Great Lessons): "Cosmic Tale: God Who Has No Hands." These experiments are key experiences. An atmosphere of magic and mystery is recommended!

The experiments (outlined below) should begin in the fall with #1 Cold--freezing, and continue throughout the year. The tales are usually told in early spring, followed by the Timeline of Life.
Impressionistic Geography Charts: one set is called "The Formation of the Earth and Insulation" and the other is called "The Work of Air and Water." These charts go hand in hand with the 6-9 experiments (also called elementary physics/science experiments or history of creation experiments).

The Physics Experiments Outline:
1. Cold--freezing
2. The formation of the star
3. Solid, liquid, gas
4. Liquid, viscous
5. Passing from solid to liquid to gas
6. Passing from gas to liquid to solid
7. Particles which love each other and ~ which don’t
8. Mixture
9. Chemical combination of gas
10. Crystallization
11. Chemical reaction
12. Precipitation
13. Properties of solids, liquid, and gas
14. Elastic, plastic, rigid
15. Matter changes at different temperatures
16. Law of gravity
17. Rapidity of cooling and mass of bodies
18. Volcano
19. Matter expands when it is heated
20. Quick evaporation

Montessori Resources:
Book of interest: Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom


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