Day 40: Mass & Craters

AP Physics: Mass

Students worked on a lab practical to find the mass of an unknown object using a modified Atwood’s machine. My plan is to use spring scales to verify the mass the determined, then use this to introduce the difference between inertial mass and gravitational mass, but time got tight and most groups need a little longer to finish their calculations.


Earth Science: Craters

During yesterday’s lab, it quickly became clear that my students did not have much sense of how craters are formed. Today, I got out some trays of sand and an assortment of marbles and we explored how mass and impact speed affect the crater size. I was really excited when the groups who finished early started asking new questions, like how the depth of the sand or angle of impact changes the crater, and coming up with experiments to answer those questions. This is why I love freshmen! We also dropped a shot put into a bigger tray of sand and got some slow-motion video just because its cool.


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