forces and motion

Would you trust your life to physics?

So, I guess I this should be a post about the Higgs Boson as the announcement yesterday was quite a big deal. However, it’s not for three reasons:

1. There is a lot of stuff on it already out there.

2. Despite spending time yesterday reading several articles and watching videos involving ping pong balls and sugar, I still don’t know enough about it to make a meaningful contribution.

3. I found this video which is amazing: real-life hot wheels!

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Meteor hits London!

http://youtu.be/67JiLl1NM7U

OK – so this did not really happen. It”s a PR stunt to mark the start of science month on the TV channel, Eden. However, the video does talk about what could happen if a real meteor of this size hit London, and it would be a lot more devastating than one crushed taxi. More

Super stunt science

This video from last week shows stuntman Gary Connery falling 2400 feet without a parachute and surviving to tell the tale. This would be a great story in a lesson on forces with any age student.

The students could:

  • Name the forces acting on him as he fell.
  • Calculate his average speed by using time from the video clip and using the speed equation (2400 feet = 731.52 m). As he fell for around 19 seconds this makes it an incredible 38.5 m/s (86 mph)!
  • Draw force diagrams for when he just left the aeroplane (unbalanced forces), when he was at terminal velocity (balanced forces) and when he had just hit the boxes (unbalanced).
  • Explain why his suit helped him survive the fall. More able students can link forces, particles and energy in this explanation.
  • Calculate his potential energy when he was in the plane (mgh). Gary is approximately 84 kg.
  • Sketch a velocity/time graph for the fall.

If you have any other ideas – please leave a comment and share!

 

Why did the Titanic sink?

The story

Unless you have been hiding under an iceberg for the past few weeks, you will have noticed an increase in the amount of media attention on the Titanic. This is because the 100 year anniversary of its sinking takes place on Sunday.

Teaching ideas

A lesson on the sinking of the Titanic would be a great way to test KS3 students’ understanding about forces and give them valuable practice at how to write a good scientific explanation.

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Space vacation

The story

Getting into space the traditional way, in a space shuttle, is an expensive process but at least we know it works. Is travelling up in an elevator attached to a 36 000 km cable any more cost effective or realistic? More

Flipping forces

Next Tuesday is Pancake Day and to celebrate the flipping fantastic feast that it is, here is an idea that can be used to reinforce knowledge of force diagrams with KS2 or KS3 students.

Using the downloadable resource, students create their own diagrams to show the forces involved when flipping a pancake. More

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Image: Takeaway (wikipedia commons)

(or Happy New Year!)

The story

Thursday (3rd February) will be the start of the Chinese New Year.

On this night will be a full moon (good night for moon-watching) and the celebrations will end 15 days later when the lunar cycle is halfway through and there will be a new moon (not such a good night for moon-watching). More

It's Christmas!!

A very short post today as the pre-chrimbo lethargy is settling in as I suspect it is in most schools across the country.

However, I am aware that you may need some lessons to keep the children both entertained and educated so I present you with a couple of Christmas-themed physics lesson ideas which are suitable for KS2 and KS3 classes. More

Space tourism

The story

How long will it be before visiting space will be as common an event as boarding a flight to Spain?  And will we be holidaying on Mars rather than Marbella in the future? More

Is a lack of pressure to blame for World Cup exits?

Image: Shine 2010-2010 world cup good news

For those of you who are football fans, many of the results from the group stages of the World Cup such as past winners Italy and France exiting from the competition at this early stage will have come as a surprise.  Other countries (including England) have not lived up to the promise of the qualifying matches.  For those of you who couldn’t care less – maybe you could be persuaded to ponder if the reason is scientific. More

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