Physics - Forces - Friction

In this MEL Academy lesson your children will:

  • learn how just simple rice can hold items
  • see the power of friction force
  • build a car with balloon engine

Lesson time

5:00am   PST (San Francisco, Seattle, ...)
6:00am   MST (Phoenix, Denver, ...)
7:00am   CST (Chicago, Houston, ...)
8:00am   EST (New York, Toronto, ...)
1:00pm   GMT (London, ...)

Lesson duration: 45-55 minutes.

Prepare in advance

In this lesson, we will conduct several DIY experiments. Prepare in advance household materials shown below.

DIY Materials

  500ml Dry uncooked rice
  2 x small plastic drinks bottles (250mls) or other shallow small containers
  2 x pencils
  Funnel (optional)
  1 x large book or 2 phone books!
  4 x sheets of A4
  Cardboard box – old shoe box
  400% x balloons
  4 x plastic drinking straws
  4 x kebab sticks


Please, download and print this worksheet in advance. You’ll need to refer to it during the lesson.


This lesson is presented by Alessio Bernardelli:

Alessio Bernardelli

Alessio has 17 years of teaching experience and has worked as Head of KS3 Science for five years. He also worked as Field Development Officer for NGfL Cymru, as Science Subject Lead at TSL Education (TES) and as National Support Programme Partner in Wales with CfBT. Alessio won a number of national and international education awards for the innovative and creative way he integrates emerging technologies in education. One of these awards is the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Education Forum, 2007. Alessio is currently working part-time as an Institute of Physics Coach. He has recently completed an MSc in Teacher Education at the University of Oxford and he is a Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach).