Bed of Nails

The old “Bed-of-Nails” trick is a great attention-getter, but it is really not a trick at all. Rather, it is a demonstration of force distribution and pressure. In this miniature, “safety” version, students can investigate the decrease in pressure on their skin with the increase of contact points.

Grades covered: 4 through 8
Curriculum Topics: Forces, Pressure

Standards

Idea Sheets are cross-referenced to subjects listed in the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and California Content Standards.

Common Standards Click to View

Science and Engineering Practices: 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 4||Science and Engineering Practices|||Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen. [ Examples: adding air to expand a basketball, compressing air in a syringe, dissolving sugar in water, & evaporating salt water.]||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 5||Physical Science||Matter and its Interactions|||Science and Engineering Practices: 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 5||Science and Engineering Practices|||Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object & the mass of the object.||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Physical Science||Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions |||Science and Engineering Practices: 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information ||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Science and Engineering Practices

California Standards (Click to View)

4.e. The Earth’s atmosphere exerts a pressure that decreases with distance above the Earth’s surface, and is the same in all directions.||CA Science||Grade 5||03. Earth Sciences||4. Energy from the sun heats the Earth unevenly, causing air movements resulting in changing weather patterns.|||4.e. Differences in pressure, heat, air movement, and humidity result in changes of weather.||CA Science||Grade 6||04. Energy in the Earth System||4. Many phenomena on the Earth’s surface are affected by the transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents.|||6.j. Contractions of the heart generate blood pressure, and heart valves prevent backflow of blood in the circulatory system.||CA Science||Grade 7||06. Physical Science: Physical Principles in Living Systems||6. Physical principles underlie biological structures and functions.|||9.f. Apply simple mathematical relationships to determine one quantity given the other two (including speed = distance/time, density = mass/volume, force = pressure x area, volume=area x height).||Grade 8||01. Physical Sciences||9. Investigation and Experimentation||9. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students should develop questions & perform investigations.

Categories include:
  • Physical Science
  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Science
Tags: Matter, Forces & Motion
Subjects covered: ["Physical Science"]