Day 14: Free Fall & Graph Stacks

Physical Science: Free Fall

Today, students explored the variables that affect how quickly an object falls. Class began with a brainstorming session to come up with as many variables as possible that might affect how quickly an object falls. Each group then picked two variables and designed their own tests. Most groups focused on weight and surface area, but one group did some quick research on different paper airplane designs, then compared different wing shapes.


Physics: Graph Stacks

Starting from position vs. time graphs, students worked on generating stacks of kinematic graphs (matching position vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time graphs). Students also drew the motion maps and wrote verbal descriptions of the motion. My students who’ve taken calculus almost all started with the graphs, then had to think a bit on the motion maps and the verbal descriptions. My students currently in pre-calc tended to start with the motion maps and written descriptions, then use those to make the graphs. Both groups of students had some good conversations as they worked through the task.

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