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acceleration practicals

Discussion in 'Science' started by liz555, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Hi all,
    Im doing a double lesson on acceleration with my Year 9's and really want to do an engaging practical with them, trouble is nearly every practical ive found involves toy cars and ramps which they have already used to measure speed last week - any suggestions for fun practicals I could use instead would be much appreciated! :)
  2. squeakyhaggis

    squeakyhaggis New commenter

    If the school has a lift, you could measure its acceleration
  3. Goat2

    Goat2 New commenter

    The one i like involves an arm which is catapulted in an arc by an elastic band ( look in Philip Harris /Griffen for the posh version) with discs/coins at points along it. The arm hits a stop and the discs carry on across the table I use to get undergrads to predict where the discs end up.
    I/ the outer ones go further as they have been accerelated to a higher speed and
    2/ you see if they recognise that once the arm stops pushing then there is only friction acting so they go in a straight line not continue round the arc ( Had previously drawn on the bench/paper the arc made by the arm which was a deliberate decoy!
    Or you can rely on the old wallpaper / oils and shapes practical.
    Try making boats with different hulls and canals out of guttering and towing the boats along by a hanging mass (If Blazer reads this he will recognise my age by that!)
  4. PinkHelen

    PinkHelen New commenter

    The first one sounds great, I think I'll get my year 10s into investigating that!

    What is the wallpaper/oils and shapes practical?
  5. Use a camera to film some situations involving acceleration (perhaps during a games lesson) and then analyse using this superb FREE software package: http://www.cabrillo.edu/~dbrown/tracker/
    If you use the Webstart option, you don't even have to install it on your computer.
    For best results - keep the camera still, try and get the motion to be perpendicular to the line of sight of the camera, and have an object of known dimensions (e.g. metre ruler) in the frame.
  6. Probably a bit late, but I certainly agree with light gates. Changing the mass of the trolley/accelerating force would be good to extend for brighter Y9s. Ticker tape timers, also, if you have them.

    Tricky to measure, but water rockets, or methane rockets are good fun.

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