Day 17: Free Fall Mini Project

Great Experiments is continuing to work on their Galileo unit. We started today sharing our experiences with finding ways to take data about position and time for objects rolling down ramps.

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There were several different ideas, including two different video approaches, using a stopwatch while releasing the ball from different distances, and putting rubber bands on the track to make a “metronome” as the ball rolled down. After some time playing with the rubber band positions, they started wishing they had a longer ramp and a gentler angle. I got to try out the track coupler to help make that happen.

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It was neat to watch them get better and better at taking data just over the course of those 65 minutes. They started being pickier about how the bands lined up with the numbers, and they ran through multiple different ways to help them determine if the “clicks” were evenly spaced in time. Other groups went through the same sort of cycles, and they were reflective about that work today. They started thinking about what perspective would have been best for taking the video and how to make markers along a meter stick or ramp that would help them see the positions.

After sharing for a bit, we started working on the project for this unit—video analysis of free fall. (Here’s the assignment document.) Everyone started dropping objects and taking video.

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I think they mostly want to use Logger Pro to analyze it, and they will have time to do that in our next class (Friday) before finishing their mini posters for Tuesday.

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