This new physics application for Windows, Galileo's Law of Falling Bodies 1, has a unique design and is intended for physics students to learn, and for physics teachers to teach kinematics in a motivating way. It presents random numerical problems for the students to solve mentally. There is no need to use calculators. It is a great activity to solve kinematics problems mentally without using equations. Instead, principles of the Law of Falling Bodies, which is a marvelous tool, need to be applied.
The application shows six types of problems, and this is the way it works. By just pressing one key, the number 1, the application brings more problems of the same type. By pressing the number 2, the value of gravity is changed, and by pressing 3, a different type of problem can be selected. It is that simple. In a few minutes, the use of this application can be mastered.
Follow the following procedure and you will have a pleasant teaching experience. Use first Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies 1. It has six different types of problems. Show two or three problems per minute. Sometimes ask a specific student to answer the question. Some other times, encourage anyone who wants to answer first. It is important for the teacher to be alert, to work out mentally the correct answer before pressing “1” for the computer to display the answer. To make things a bit easier at the beginning, select small even numbers for gravity, for instance, 2, 4, 6, 8 m/s^2. In addition, Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies 2 and 3 are a little more challenging and should be used the following day.
In general, teachers need to dedicate about 3 or 4 minutes each time, practicing each of the six types of problems. Later, give the students exercises at random of any type. It is important that teachers also add some questions of their own. In addition, if a digital projector is used with the entire class, try pressing ALT-ENTER to use the full screen, for the text to appear larger on the screen. One of my best memories in the many years I have taught physics, is precisely how motivated and engaged the students were during the three Galileo activities.
It is essential to be aware that using Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies is equivalent to using the equation: d = Vi.t + 1/2.a.t^2. In the first application, the Law of Odd numbers is practiced. In addition, the initial velocity Vi is zero in the equation. In the second application, bodies are thrown vertically downward, and in the third application, bodies are ejected vertically upward. In all three applications, the equation Vf = Vi + at is also practiced.
The beauty of Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies is that it can solve quite easy some complex problems. This is one example: If a body is released from rest, in which second the distance fallen is the same as the distance fallen in 5 seconds? Using the kinematics equations, it will take more than 5 minutes of hard work to solve it and get the answer. With the Law of Falling Bodies, the solution is: In 5 seconds a body falls 5^2 units of distance, in other words, 25. Which odd number is 25? The answer is, the 13th odd number. Therefore, the final answer is the 13th second. It is important to remember that by definition, one unit of distance is the distance fallen in the first second, which is numerically equal to one half the value of gravity.
Again, this physics application is for computers using Windows 10 or newer. This link will take you to one product (lecture) in TpT that explains in detail Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies. It costs only $2.95. Physics Lecture: Galileo's Law of Falling Bodies by Ceres Science (teacherspayteachers.com)
Ceres-Science teacher support: firstname.lastname@example.org
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