Why don’t you float away when you jump?
This project’s core concept is gravity. While gravity feels intuitively obvious at a basic level, the topic of gravity is one of the most complex studied by physics. Students begin their exploration at the foundational level of understanding gravity as the force that ‘makes things fall down’. They then explore the idea of gravitational acceleration and demonstrate that everything on Earth is subject to the same rate of gravitational acceleration (meaning all objects, regardless of mass, fall at the same rate). This phenomenon, coupled with Newton’s second law (F=ma), is used to explore what weight is and why mass matters. Air resistance is then introduced as another factor that affects how objects fall on earth. Students then work through the engineering design process as they iterate and test a design that utilises air resistance to slow a falling object.
To do so, students will be required to build the following projects as part of the ‘Why don’t you float away when you jump?’ lesson set: