Day 121: The Leaper Lab

Advanced Physics:

Today is usually a favorite day for many of my students. We make Racquetball Leapers (poppers) and use COE to determine several things: the elastic energy stored in the leaper when it is flexed, the effective spring constant, the take off velocity, the acceleration as it takes off from the surface, and the ‘net force’ required to give the leaper that acceleration.  Here is a leaper in action:

Truth be told, the activity is really more about creating a ‘physics’ toy the students get to keep and getting some excellent advertisement for the course.  Some of the values obtained are a bit of a stretch using COE, but in some years, we re-visit the leaper when we get to impulse and  momentum. I made some small mini-force plates of physics (just a small wood platform that attaches to the Vernier Dual Range force sensor) that the leaper can take-off from so we can see the impulse graph.


General Physics:

Today was all about reviewing for the unbalanced (N2L) forces test tomorrow.  I used the results of the formative assessment to place the students in groups. We started with a Ranking Task, this one:

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We followed it with some quantitative problem practice.