Hands-on Activities

These are some of the hands-on activities used in Jefferson Lab's BEAMS program. In the BEAMS program, classes of 5th and 6th grade students are exposed to the Lab's scientific environment. For two consecutive days during school hours, classes of 5th grade students and their teachers participate in these science and math activities conducted with Jefferson Lab staff. The students return to the lab in the 6th grade for additional activities which reinforce their 5th grade experience.

Feel free to alter these activities for use in your class.

A Different Way of Measuring - students determine the area of a dime using a method similar to one used by nuclear physicists to determine the cross-sectional area of a nucleus.

Cold Stuff - students investigate different materials to determine which makes the best insulator.

Design and Engineering - students work in teams to design and build aluminum boats that will carry the most cargo.

Electrostatics - students use a Van de Graaff generator to study charges and electricity

Hot and Cold - students observe the effects of temperature extremes.

Human Accelerator - students simulate Jefferson Lab's accelerator by passing tennis balls down a straight line.

Jefferson Lab Treasure Hunt - students take a tour of Jefferson Lab.

Looking for the Top Quark - students practice locating coordinates on a grid.

Magnets and Electromagnets - students construct and test the strengths of two electromagnets.

Microscopes - students observe objects using microscopes.

Mystery Math - students find another's secret number.

Oobleck - students explore the properties of a strange substance.

Role Model Visits - students learn about Lab employees and their careers

The Shape of Things - students determine the shape of a hidden target.

The Slow Bicycle Race - students compute the speed at which they rode a bicycle.

Technology - students harness the power of the internet to complete a scavenger hunt