Day 110: Recognizing Terminal Velocity

Monday, 10 February 2014

Make an object that reaches terminal velocity quickly and film it.

Make an object that reaches terminal velocity quickly and film it.

I feel like last Thursday/Friday I struggled with the video analysis assignment. I asked the kids to drop a ball and film it falling. The plan was to use those videos to eventually build a computational model of an object falling with drag. Problem is there’s not nearly enough data in a 3m fall to even see the drag at work. The accelerations were still really close to g. My “duh” moment.

Enter today: the kids answered a warmup question (it’s below) about terminal velocity. Most correctly identified that their objects from Friday didn’t reach terminal velocity because they were still accelerating when the object hit the floor. I next asked them to build something out of paper that would reach terminal velocity quickly. “What would that look like?” “I dunno — give it your best shot.”

By the end of class, these kids had short videos of papers floating their way down to the ground veeeerrrrry slowly. I think we can work with this.

What was the warmup in 7th period?

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 11.15.00 AM

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