forces

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.

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

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

Mind bending optical illusions

The video above shows the amazing gravity-defying optical illusion that won the 2010 Best Illusion of the Year Contest earlier this week.

Using optical illusions in science lessons never fails to amaze students.  This particular one could be used as an engaging starter to any lesson on forces. More

Super speedy car

The gadget show team

Last weekend I visited The Gadget Show Live at the NEC in Birmingham in the hope to see some applications of science in the future tech on show there.

One thing that caught my eye was the Bloodhound SSC.  This car is Britain’s latest attempt on the World Land Speed Record and it hopes to reach an amazing 1000 mph (237 mph faster than the current record, also set by the same group).  SSC is an acronym for Super Sonic Car as it will travel at 447m/s, faster than the speed of sound. More

Jetpack science

Martin Jetpack Unveiling, Liftoff!

image courtesy of martinjetpack

I must admit, when I picked up a magazine the other day to discover that there was a jetpack for sale, I thought it was a late April Fool’s joke, but apparently not.

As advertised on their website, the Martin Jetpack costs an eye-watering US $86,000 but the uplift from the two-litre 200hp engine can provide 30 minutes of flight and will take the (brave) pilot up to 8000 feet above the ground. More