Falling Objects 1



The activity is intended for use in a high school physics class once the momentum concept and impulse-momentum theorem are developed. Prior to starting this activity, students should have some experience watching multiple objects fall to notice that they fall at the same rate and appear to get faster and faster as they fall. This activity applies impulse and momentum concepts to the motion of falling objects to develop the concept of “force” as the rate the momentum of an object changes.  As a result of this activity, students should identify the equation for impulse: Impulse = FΔt and the equation for the force of gravity: Fg = mg. Students will also develop their ability to interpret diagrammatic and graphical models and make inferences based on those models, as well as work as a team to perform calculations, discuss critical thinking questions, and divide and conquer to generate predicted data.

Level: High School
Setting: Classroom
Activity Type: Learning Cycle

Discipline: Physics
Course: Physics (algebra-based)
Keywords: impulse, momentum, force, acceleration, gravity, falling

Author Biography

Andrew McCarty

Andrew creates free, publicly available Physics curricula to help teachers and students around the world have access to quality learning experiences. He focuses on using constructivist pedagogy to guide students to create a model-based understanding of physics content. He co-created Phenomena First to shares these curricular resources with a broader audience. Andrew taught high school Physics for 7 years and currently manages project-based instruction at Summit Public Schools. He also coaches new science teachers through the Exploratorium Leadership Institute. He is a Senior Fellow in the Knowles Teacher Initiative (2012 cohort).




How to Cite

McCarty, A. (2022). Falling Objects 1. POGIL Activity Clearinghouse, 3(1). Retrieved from https://pac.pogil.org/index.php/pac/article/view/203



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