This is a simple yet effective lab where students create rotocopters from the included template and investigate the variables that affect the rotocopter's falling speed. This lab will reinforce the concept of independent and dependent variables AND introduce speed, average speed, and even terminal velocity.
Students will manipulate the size and shape of the rotocopter's wings and body and record the time and distance the rotocopter falls. This lab is great as an introduction to speed and it can also be used as a stand-alone lab to practice inquiry skills. I've also used it to introduce air resistance and terminal velocity when learning about acceleration due to gravity.
This lab requires little in the way of supplies: the model template is included as are instructions and answer keys. Your students will need the template, a pair of scissors, a paper clip, and some sort of timing device. Included in this set are student instructions if you want to do the lab in a guided fashion and guidance sheets if you prefer to have your students approach this lab as an inquiry-based activity. The demo download is an example of the inquiry-based model.
Also included in this bundle is a five question set of speed problems for students to work on when they finish the lab AND an engaging speed logic puzzle not included in any of my other products.
This lab is included - along with additional worksheets and a 34 slide powerpoint - in my Speed Mini-Unit found here: Speed Mini-Unit
I have other science products for sale - here are a few of my best-sellers:
Velocity and Acceleration Task Cards
Laws of Motion Jeopardy Style Review
Conservation of Mass & Balancing Equations
Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics