The best ice hockey puck

Which material makes the best ice hockey puck?

Investigate which material would make the best hockey puck using a sheet of ice, milk bottle top and different items to test.

investigating materials

Materials

Milk bottle tops

Cellophane

Felt

Bubble wrap

Mini hockey stick – we used K’nex

Container with a sheet of ice frozen inside.

Let’s think scientifically

How will you measure the success of your puck?

Will a good hockey puck move more easily over the ice? How will you be able to tell?

For an object to move quickly and easily on a sheet of ice, there needs to not be much friction.

Step 1

  • Rub two pieces of ribbon together, they should move easily. There is not much friction between two smooth surfaces.
  • Now try to rub two pieces of velcro together, it should be much harder, frictional forces are greater when rough surfaces are in contact. 

Step 2

Will the best hockey puck travel the furthest?

investigating materials

Which conditions should you keep the same?

  • Force applied to the puck? How can you keep this the same each time you test a puck?
  • Size of the hockey puck

Materials to test

  • Felt
  • Cellophane
  • Bubble wrap
  • Card

Instructions

Think about how to reduce friction between the milk bottle top and the ice, which material do you think will be most efficient at reducing friction?

Stick the material to test onto the base of the milk bottle top.

Place on the ice and gently hit with the hockey puck.

Repeat for the different materials to see which base allows the milk bottle top to travel the furthest.

Links to Literacy

Write a story about an ice hockey team searching for the best puck.

Links to Maths

Measure the distance travelled by each type of puck, choose the best measuring device for this purpose.

Suitable for Key Stage 1 – Materials and their Properties 

investigating materials

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