Classroom activity:

The Whoosh Factor


Students will use a model to investigate the factors involved in landslides.


Baking tray
Materials to whoosh, including rice
Optional Materials: Macaroni, beans, shells


  1. Open the container of rice and spread the full amount to cover one half of the tray. Slowly lift the tray, raising the "rice" end. At the moment of the whoosh, record the height of the bottom of the tray. Repeat two more times. Average your results to determine the height of the whoosh for rice.

    Average whoosh for rice: _____________

  2. Discuss the factors involved in the whoosh.

  3. You will have the opportunity to test the "whoosh factor" of at least three other materials. What kind of a hypothesis might you make? What do you predict will happen? Write down your hypothesis(ses) and then carry out your experiments. Record your results.


    Materials selected to whoosh:


  4. Revise your original hypothesis as approprate, according to your results:

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