Falling Objects 2



The activity is intended for use in a high school physics class once the momentum concept, impulse-momentum theorem, and force equation for gravity (Fg = mg) are developed. Students benefit from having modeled impulse as the area on a Force vs Time graph. Prior to starting this activity, students should have some experience watching multiple objects fall to notice that objects that fall from greater heights are moving faster just before they hit the ground. This activity applies impulse and momentum concepts to the motion of falling objects to develop the concept of Work in a manner that is analogous to Impulse.  As a result of this activity, students should identify that Word is the product of Force and displacement and can be represented as the area of a Force vs Position graph. Students use calculated “data” to determine the relationships between Work and changes in momentum to develop the concepts of “Kinetic Energy” and the Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem. Kinetic Energy is defined as p2/2m. Students will also develop their ability to interpret diagrammatic and graphical models and to identify equations.

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 2. POGIL Activity Clearinghouse, 3(1). Retrieved from https://pac.pogil.org/index.php/pac/article/view/216



Activities for Testing