This video investigates acceleration due to gravity by analyzing the motion of a ball rolling down a ramp much as Galileo did it. A pictorial, less mathematical method of graphing is introduced which acts as a bridge to more traditional graphing methods. Students will begin to develop an understanding of how to read motion graphs. Both speed and distance graphs are analyzed.
By starting with the scientific phenomena, you'll be intrigued and excited to dig deeper into the why’s and how’s of each scientific concept. Engaging Science Labs are useful for classroom or homeschool environments.
• Ramps provide a way to study acceleration due to gravity.
• An outside, unbalanced force produces acceleration.
• An object that is constantly accelerating produces specific types of graphs.
U-channel aluminum molding, steel ball, masking or painter’s tape, metronome timer app
Extensive teacher notes address the many questions that come up. You shouldn’t have to do outside research on this topic unless you want to.
This lab will take about 45 minutes but can take longer.
• Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting
Click here to see written instructions for this activity:
Newton’s Second Law: Acceleration | Investigation in Motion and Graphing
Click here to see companion curricular pieces:
Activities on Motion (Newton's Laws)
Virginia VA SOL
PS.10 a, b, c
Texas TEKS Grade 6
Grade 8: 6A, 6B, 6C
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