Faced with a 50 ft. gap in the highway, what would you do?
Inspired by the movie "Speed", bad Hollywood science is exposed in
this fun projectile motion lab!
Alright; you're stuck on a city bus, you can't slow the bus below 50 mph or it
will explode. Problem is, the highway ahead has a 50 ft. gap missing in the
overpass. What would you do? What would you do? Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock
decide to jump the gap. To students this might make perfect sense, but to a
physics type, probably not too smart.
The Speed Projectile Lab was created by New York physics teacher Buzz Putnam,
in association with Cornell University to provide students with a relevant
exploration of projectile motion. All the components are there; consistent
results, trial variables, and a predictable outcome. And all through the
process students are having some serious fun!
The lab includes a 2 meter acceleration track with a launch ramp that is
adjustable from 10, 20, and 30 degrees. The NASCAR friction motor car provides
students with a reliable vehicle for their experiments. Just push down on the
car, rock it back and forth until the motor clicks and let it go! The track ramp
has a convenient photogate mounting arm for using your timer and photogate
system to collect accurate data. Also includes complete teacher notes and