Day 21: Designing & Free Fall

Physical Science: Initial Designs

Now that students have a basic knowledge of Newton’s 1st and 2nd Laws, they went to the drawing board to develop ideas for a design challenge where they’ll need to keep an egg safe in a head-on collision. Students had to include a justification, based on Newton’s Laws, for why they think their design will work, which lead to some good debate and physics talk within groups.

Physics: Free Fall

Students worked on some free fall calculations in groups. They are gradually getting better at using velocity vs. time graphs as problem solving tools. One of my favorite moments was when a student, who had just spent around 30 minutes working through the first problem, read the second and declared it exactly the same, in spite of some superficial differences that usually confuse students.  When I asked what she meant, the student explained how she knew the same model would apply and proceeded to point out all the underlying physics that stayed the same as a result. She was thinking like a scientist and didn’t even realize it!

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