Engaging students, grabbing their attention; any teacher would agree that’s the key to getting students excited about science, and maybe even remembering a little of what they learned. In this issue of CoolStuff we connect complete cool, with an important lesson on energy and motion. Extreme sports push the limits of what is humanly possible, but really big stunts take more than athleticism and guts. Really big stunts require science!
Watch the video..
Consider which factors were important to consider when designing the Mega-ramp that professional skateboarder, Danny Way, used to launch himself over the Great Wall Of China!
- How high of a ramp do we need to reach a specific speed?
- Does the downhill ramp angle affect the launch speed?
- What are the best/worst angles for the launching surface?
- Does the skater’s mass matter in this stunt?
- How far would that energy carry me?
Sharing this video with your students can transform “Too Cool for School” classroom personalities into stakeholders in a scientific debate!
The Energy & Motion Lab Student Tested: This is fun!
The Introductory Energy and Motion Lab, with self-contained photogate speed timer, enables students to adjust the ramp angle, and starting height to quickly test their assertions about which variables are important to the ramp’s design. Students can explore velocity, acceleration, conservation of energy, and the relative importance of friction and more.
Introductory Energy & Motion Lab
Our teacher-developed product guide includes velocity and acceleration labs to photocopy for student use. Students collect precise velocity measurements, calculate averages, and demonstrate that, although the car’s acceleration increases with the ramp angle, the final speed only depends on the starting height.
This lab measures velocity using a battery powered photogate that is ready for use in one step. A pair of photogates are actually integrated into this little timer to measure the speed, from zero to 100 km/h, of any object that passes through. You can also use this BeeSpi V Advanced Self-Contained Photogate to measure free fall speeds and projectile velocities. Teacher guides and reproducible student worksheets are included.
Engage, Explain, Explore, Expand and Evaluate…