Day 66: Projectile Practical & Seismic Accelerator

AP Physics: Projectile Practical

Students wrapped up a lab practical today, predicting where a horizontally launched marble will hit the floor. Once they pulled it off, I pulled out a lighter marble and asked them to predict where it would hit without taking any new measurements. Last year, most groups spent a fair bit of time debating what should happen and trying lots of different calculations before they figured it out. This year, as soon as I pulled out the lighter marble, every group confidently stated it should hit the same spot and gave beautiful explanations for why. Its clear I’ve done a better job this year of giving students opportunities to confront that misconception.


The retired referral forms work well as carbon paper

Physical Science: Seismic Accelerator

I showed students the seismic accelerator and asked them to predict what would happen when I dropped it, presenting their answer as a CER. Groups consistently drew nice bar charts, but, since we haven’t done anything quantitative with energy, it was tough for many students to recognize the tiny bouncy ball should fly above the original height. I like this as a follow-up to the bouncy ball lab, but next year, instead of having them make predictions, it might work better to show them what the seismic accelerator does, then have them draw bar charts and explain why the red ball goes so high.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s