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Mr. Fizzix Physics

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Log of Mrs. Pirog's Tech Prep Class's Trebuchet Activities

 

OCT 30

 

Math class watches Nova video on Trebuchet Project. Not enough time to finish viewing it.

 

OCT 31

 

Math class finishes watching Nova video. We discuss our involvement in the Trebuchet project. Class mentions the part of video that showed that wheels on The Trebuchet helps its firing ability. They suggest we build wheels on our model.

 

NOV 3

 

Math class studies graphs of parabolas and the effect a negative coefficient of X^2 has on the graph. The upside‑down curve demonstrates the path a projectile will follow when launched from a trebuchet.

 

NOV 14

 

Math class goes to library to interact with Mr. Clark's Physics class. Mr. Clark presents demonstration on torque and center of gravity. My students take part in question‑answer session.

 

NOV 15

 

Go over the concept of a centroid of a triangle, which is the center of gravity. In lab have students construct the centroid of their triangle so they can see if the triangle will be balanced on the tip of their pencils. They experience a lot of success.

 

NOV 16

 

Go over the concept of torque with the math class. Also discuss fulcrum and how lever must be balanced. Use proportions to solve examples on torque.

 

DEC 18

 

Take class for second trip to library to interact with Mr. Clark's Physics class.

 


This presentation is on paths of projectiles. Mr. Clark demonstrates Parabola shaped paths. He also discusses Newton's Law #1 on gravity and acceleration.

 

JAN 17

 

Take math class outside to view Mr. Clark's Physics class carry out their Trebuchet competition. They launched eggs and accuracy and distance were their goals.

 

FEB 12

 

Develop plans from the Internet to devise a building kit for all my math students to build rubber‑band-powered catapults.

 

FEB 14

 

The first day my math students start to build their rubber‑band powered catapults. All students are actively and intently involved.

 

FEB 15

 

Students continue to build their catapults during second period class. Constructions are individually designed. It is fascinating to see the motivation of math students in this project.

 

FEB 16

 

Start trial launches of catapults in the hall outside classroom. Students were very busy perfecting their models. We decided to launch pennies.

 

FEB 27

 

Take class outside for final competition of their catapults. 2 launches allowed per student. Pennies were launched and their distances recorded. Also recorded were the number of seconds it took for the penny to land.

 

FEB 28

 

In class we calculate velocity that each student's penny traveled in yesterday's competition. The formula we used was velocity‑‑ distance traveled/ seconds x cosine of angle of release. Students calculate their individual velocities. We noted that fastest pennies did not necessarily go the farthest.

 

 

March 30

 

Math class conducts a lab using pieces of hemlock timber beams to try to determine the approximate weight of the actual throwing arm of the Trebuchet We used scales to weigh the pieces and figured out their volumes so that we could use proportions to find the weight of the arm.

 

MAY 7

 

Take class outside to watch trial launches of the actual Trebuchet.

 

MAY 10

 

Go on field trip to STCC for the big day‑ the actual Trebuchet Competition. Comp. comes in second. The day was enjoyable and educational for all persons present.

 

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Last updated: November 13, 2002.