Clever Dumbbell [Virtual Demonstration]

Grade Levels
7th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Google Drive™ folder
  • Internet Activities
2 Student Pages & 2 Key Pages
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Also included in
  1. This bundle opens with an activity that was conducted as a lab but was repurposed as a demonstration during remote teaching/distance learning (RT;DL). It's a station exploration of "Inertia in Action".Next up is "Clever Dumbbell," a classic inertia demonstration that challenges intuition.Another cla
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This is a classic physics classroom demonstration as modified for use in remote teaching/distance learning (RT;DL). Please guide your students through this lesson.

A dumbbell is suspended from a sturdy horizontal support. Another string is attached to the bottom of the dumbbell. The bottom string is then pulled downward until one of the strings breaks. Which string breaks and why?

The way I wrote this allows students to contemplate the possibilities of what could happen. But rather than make a prediction, they are allowed to request an outcome. This is somewhat jarring since they are usually tasked with predicting. It take a few moments for the "Total Request Live" aspect to sink in. Once it does, they usually vote for the outcome they don't think should happen. For this TPT remastering, I encourage that explicitly in the presentation.


Student document (print-friendly Google Docs file)

Observation presentation (linked to in the answer key)

Answer Key

I wrote a post to my Blog of Phyz when I initially reworked this demo for RT;DL.

Total Pages
2 Student Pages & 2 Key Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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