Day 23: Design Testing & Free Fall Practical

Physical Science: Design Testing

Today, all of my students were early and anxious for class to start. They knew that we’d be loading up their designs with eggs, then sending them down ramps to see how they did. At the end of the hour, we had a brief, but good, discussion about what it could mean to have the “best” design and the limits of the single test we used. This discussion will provide some good groundwork for our second round of designing and building.

Physics: Free Fall Practical

Students had two tasks today. For both tasks, I assigned students roles from the University of Minnesota’s cooperative group problem-solving process. First, they did a practical on free fall. Each group was given a time, and had to place tape on a strip of acrylic so that a photogate would measure the time they drew when they dropped their acrylic.

One group's solution to the practical

One group’s solution to the practical

Once groups had tested their result, they worked on XKCD’s Substitute Problem. While most groups decided to chug through the algebra, there was one that used Desmos to find the intersection of the position vs. time graphs.

One group's solution to the sub problem

One group’s solution to the sub problem

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