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# Hits the Spot Lab Activity

Subjects
Resource Types
Product Rating
4.0
File Type
Word Document File
0.16 MB   |   4 pages

### PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

This is a lab activity that I do with all levels of my physics classes (conceptual, accelerated, honors) as well as with my more advanced freshman general science classes. It is part of the 2-D motion (projectiles) unit and is a real-world "horizontal projectile" problem.

First, the students let a ball roll down a ramp several times in order to find its speed at the bottom of the ramp, and therefore what it will roughly be when it rolls down the ramp and off the edge of the table.
Second, they calculate the amount of time the ball will take to fly through the air when it is allowed to roll off the edge of the table.
Third, they use the speed and time calculations to calculate where the ball should land based on their earlier measurements.
And finally, they actually test their measurements and calculations by placing a target on the floor where they predict the ball should land. Those students who have made careful measurements and done correct calculations discover that "physics actually works!"

All equations needed by students are included as well as data tables (this is my freshman version; the upper level students have to make their own data tables and are expected to know the equations). I included a page of "teacher notes" which summarize my observations over 10 years of doing this activity. The vast majority of my students have great success with this ~1 hour activity (honors should be closer to a half hour) and consequently have a greater appreciation for the fact that the physics equations we discuss in class have actual meaning and predictive power.
Total Pages
4
Does Not Apply
Teaching Duration
1 hour

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