Monday, 4 April 2016
This is one of my top 3 favorite labs of the year — launch a projectile to (confidently) hit a target.
Above, a lab group collects data on the relationship between drop location on the ramp and horizontal velocity coming off the ramp. My students have already studied forces but I didn’t do anything with inclined planes, so yeah, there’s that caveat about the lab. It means that when one group graphed their drop location vs horizontal velocity data, the parabola was a bit of a pleasant surprise.
A colleague of mine hates the hop marbles take as they exit the ramp and enter the table. Yeah, it’s an issue. Maybe I could 3D print some triangles that’d fix most of the problem. The colleague uses flexible wood moulding to solve the transition problem.
What I love about this lab is that it’s focused on a goal that’s easily understood without the physics — do a thing to hit a target. The Mirror Maze is my other favorite example. Both are low floor, high ceiling work, y’know?
Hit Me with Your Best Shot lab (PDF)
History: Here’s the 2014 version of this lab (note: I’m not running behind — we didn’t have a JanTerm that year.)