SS Day 4: Projectile Motion

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Proving to ourselves that a bullet dropped vs fired lands on the ground at the same time.

Proving to ourselves that a bullet dropped vs fired lands on the ground at the same time.

I started the kids off today with homework questions and a homework quiz. The results were strong, with kids averaging about 90% correct answers. We moved on to projectile motion for objects fired horizontally, such as the bullet dropped vs bullet fired Mythbusters episode. I started us off with an in-room test (above) which left some of us unconvinced. So we fired up Mytbusters “Knock Your Socks Off”.

Next we went to Wile E Coyote as shown below:

How do you stress the independence of horizontal and vertical motion for projectiles? I'm using Wily E Coyote.

How do you stress the independence of horizontal and vertical motion for projectiles? I’m using Wile E Coyote.

The kids wanted to know if they could figure out the height of Coyote’s fall. Ah, we sure can and it’s like music to my ears. We found the fall was about 100m. Then the kids analyzed the horizontal glide Coyote does across the canyon and found it was about 130m wide. This was an excellent introduction to projectile motion because the cartoon clearly splits the coyote’s fall into distinct components that happen one after another rather than simultaneously.

The kids agreed that I totally killed the joke by explaining the physics of it.

We closed our 5 hour day with a little test review. I wasn’t totally in love with the results of my approach but did appreciate having a stable of questions to pull examples from.

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One thought on “SS Day 4: Projectile Motion

  1. “NO! Of COURSE you can’t do extra work that explores the questions that you came up with that relate to the work we are currently doing! Where do you think you are??”

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