Saturday, February 2, 2008

Jesus and Paper Clips

Continuing our study of Jesus Calms the Storm, our kids will be doing science in Children's Church on Sunday. They will experiment with waves, momentum, and paper clips discussing fear and the storms of life. Hopefully they will more fully understand the peace that Jesus gives us in our storms.

Here is the paper clip experiment they will do, based on water surface tension:

Paper Clip Float

  • Drop a paper clip in a cup of water. What happens?
  • Tear off a piece of paper towel that is slightly larger than the paper clip.
  • Place the piece of paper towel on top of the water.
  • Gently place another paper clip on the piece of paper towel. Wait a few seconds. Now what happens?

If you drop a paper clip in water, the paper clip sinks. But if you put the paper clip on a piece of paper towel after about 30-45 seconds the paper towel sinks and the paper clip floats. This is because water particles are attracted to each other in all directions, making them "stick" together.

However, because there are no water particles above them, the water particles at the surface "stick" only to particles next to and below them. This makes the surface act as if it had a thin "skin". This is called surface tension. The paper towel helps you to lower the paper clip onto the surface gently without breaking the surface tension.

Do you ever feel like the first paper clip? “sunk” when there’s trouble or a problem? If you’re the second paper clip and the paper towel is Jesus, how does Jesus keep you “afloat”?

You can find great teaching ideas just like this one at!

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