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Workshop Syllabus

Workshop: Fun Physics

Length of workshop: 2 Hour (VAC Syllabus)

Overview: A short fun physics incursions exploring motion, friction, air resistance and more!

StarTime’s Fun Physics workshop is designed to take everyday items and transform them into experiments of physics. Illustrating how gravity, friction, static electricity, kinetic energy, force, and motion interact.

Participants will:

  • Take on a “scientific’ character name and under the guidance of the StarTime coaches learn the fun of physics with everyday objects and materials
  • Engage in experiments about the following topics; gravity, friction, kinetic energy, forces and motion
  • Design and create parachutes using the materials provided and investigate how the size and shape of the parachute affects the time taken to reach the ground
  • Design and create egg crash containers using the materials provided and see how high they can drop their egg from without it cracking open
  • Create a popsicle stick catapult and see how far they can catapult different objects
  • Test how different materials increase/decrease the amount of friction

    Links To Handouts:

    Links To Other Resources:

    Clean Up/Mess Prevention

    Ensure you have garbage bags/table cloths laid out to protect floor for messy activities – egg drop challenge

    Time Management

    • Engage any idle venue staff and assistant coaches to cut string, sticky tape etc into equal lengths so that these can be ready to grab for younger kids and speed up the process
    • To make demonstrations faster in larger groups of kids – split teams amongst coaches/venue staff armed with timer and paper and get them to run the drops for their groups and record the time. They can then pass the sheet with the times to the head coach for them to call out the winners amongst all the groups – OR do a final ‘heat’ with the winner of each staff’s group.

    StarTime Rituals

    With VAC it’s particularly important to leave an impression of StarTime and what we do – make sure you allocate enough time to complete the StarTime rituals including running through our values at the beginning of the day and ending the day with Oscars ceremony and StarTime whoosh!

    Child is Sick/Injured

    Report to VAC Staff/Venue contact immediately. They will have their own protocols and paperwork to follow which you will need to be prepared to assist them with. This may involve remembering details of any incidents resulting in injury. They should also be the ones to contact parents if necessary.

    Fill out the StarTime incident report form.

    Session 1

    Warm Up Session – Introduction

    WHAT: Introduce coaches and Students, Formulate Professor Name


    • Name and Action Game
    • Professor Name Generation
    • Poison Hand (if time permits)

    WHY: Participants will:

    • Become familiar with each other and the coaches 
    • Understand this is a safe space and feel comfortable and welcome
    • NA

    Head Coach:

    • Direct children through activities

    2nd Coach:

    • Crowd Control and Behaviour Monitoring
    • Participate in games to model what is being taught

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    Warm Up Session – StarTime Values


    • Introduce the StarTime Values, Way and rules for the day


    • Teach kids the 4 C’s
    • Outline expectations and rules for the workshop – including any COVID19 safety information

    WHY: Participants will:

    • Understand the StarTime way, understanding the importance of collaborating and helping one another. Understanding that these values will help them do their work more effectively and enjoyably.
    • Understand how to earn Stars for the StarChart and the StarTime Values
    • Understand the value of the equipment and therefore understand the precautions they must take to ensure nothing is broken.

    • Understand the importance of COVID19 safety procedures
    • StarTime Rules
    • StarChart
    • Hand Sanitiser

    Head Coach:

    • Runs through values making sure to engage students so they understand their importance.

    2nd Coach:

    • Crowd Control and Behaviour Monitoring

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    Warm Up Session – Overview for the day


    • Outline the day


    • Briefly outline the experiments and get StarTimers excited
    • Get kids into groups and assign roles

    WHY: Participants will:

    • Have a good idea of what they’ll be doing and are excited and energised to get started!

    • Form groups and know their roles for activity #1

    Head Coach:

    • Run through outline of the day

    2nd Coach:

    • Crowd Control and Behaviour Monitoring
    • Assist with group formation

    Session 2


    WHAT: Create basic parachutes and introduce the idea of gravity, drag and air resistance.

    • Demo – 5 min
    • Kids create their own – 10 min
    • Drop Test – 2 Min
    • Collect Army Men Back – 2 min


    • Demonstrate how to create a basic parachute using a bin bag, string, tape and an army man. Refer to the experiment card. 

    • Emphasise and explain how drag, gravity and air resistance work to slow/speed the parachute’s descent.

    • Explain how altering the weight of the item or changing the shape/size of the parachute would alter the time it takes for the parachute to fall. 

    • Allows kids to create their own parachutes in small groups. Get kids to stand on chairs (with close supervision) and drop the parachutes once completed.

    WHY: Participants will:

    • Understand the basics of air resistance, gravity and drag and how these interact with parachutes

    • Create their own functional parachute.

    Head Coach:

    • To run demonstration


    • Allocate stars on Star Chart for commitment, focus, courage, etc

    • Assist with crowd control

    • Assist with logistical tasks

    Session 3

    Egg Drop Challenge


    • Demo – 10 min

    • Create – 15 mins

    • Run Drop Competition – 10 Min

    • Clean Up – 10 min


    • Demonstrate some effective techniques for creating a capsule and parachute to protect the egg when dropped from a height. Refer to the experiment card and video resources. 

    • Explain how different forces interact with each other and the egg and how we are aiming to alter/combat them. 

    • Issue students the creative challenge to create their own capsule & parachute combo in their teams in 15 minutes. 

    • Once everyone is finished, get group together and task them to drop their eggs from a height – see whose survives! Drop over table clothes laid out on the floor or outside

    • Clean up mess and dispose of capsules and eggs. 

    WHY: Participants will:

    • Broaden their understanding of forces of motion, kinetic energy and how we can harness/change these to our advantage.

    • Have fun collaborating with their team to create their very own protective egg capsule.

    Experiment Cards

    Experiment Video

    Head Coach:

    • Run Demonstration

    • Float around and assist kids in crafting their own egg capsule. 
    • Facilitate drop challenge and ensure this is done either outside or over a tablecloth to reduce clean up. 

    2nd Coach:

    • Add challenges for any outstanding students who find the work very easy

    • Float around and assist kids in crafting their own egg capsule. 

    Session 4

    Popsicle Catapult OR Spaghetti Towers (for younger kids)


    • Demo – 5 mins

    • Create – 15 mins

    • Clean Up – 10 min


    Popsicle Catapults

    • Demonstrate how to create basic catapults out of popsicle sticks, rubberbands, a bottle cap and bluetack. Refer to experiment card and video resource. 

    • Emphasise the role of kinetic energy in launching things from the catapult.

    • Allow kids to create their own catapults in small groups.

    • Use catapults to launch small marshmallows. If you have time, make this a challenge to see who can launch theirs the furthest. 

    • Clean up all materials ready to depart.

    Spaghetti Towers

    • Demonstrate how raw spaghetti and marshmallows can be used to construct basic structures.
    • Issue students the challenge to create their own towers – Those with the tallest and strongest towers win.

    WHY: Participants will learn:

    • Student’s learn about kinetic energy and how we can generate and use it in fun and exciting ways!

    • Student’s collaborate with their groups to create their catapult

    • Student’s learn about structure and how it can interact with forces like gravity.

    Head Coach:

    • Run Demonstration

    • Float around and assist kids

    2nd Coach:

    • Assist Head Coach with behaviour management and crowd control

    • Float around and assist kids
    • Look for students to earn stars


    Fantastic Friction – Cars


    Explore the effect of different surfaces in generating friction that acts upon a moving toy car.


    • Explain how different surfaces generate different amounts of friction and how friction interacts with a toy car and it’s speed. Refer to experiment card.

    • Give out different materials and toy cars and let students investigate the difference different surfaces make on the speed of their car.

    WHY: Participants will:

    • Learn about friction and how it interacts with objects in motion.

    Experiment Cards

    Experiment Video

    Head Coach:

    • Introduce activity

    • Float around and keep kids engaged – encourage them to write down their observations and formulate hypothesis

    2nd Coach:

    • Clean up and pack up materials ready for departure.

    Wrap Up The Session


    • Give out awards
    • Perform StarTime Whoosh


    • Give out the Oscar to the child who most consistently demonstrated the StarTime Values throughout the session. 

    • Present Stickers to all students

    • Run Through StarTime swoosh!

    WHY: Participants will:

    • Be satisfied they had a fun and productive day!




    Head Coach:

    • Run Awards

    • Wrap up session and thank venue staff

    2nd Coach:

    • Finish cleaning up space and packing away StarTime resources & equipment

    • Help to hand out stickers.
    • Ensure everything is ready for quick departure.