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Newton's Laws of Motion

Out-of-class Mini-labs

Newton's First Law (p. 269)
Please remember that for the out-of-class mini-lab you must write a short overview and conclusion.

How are Action and Reaction Forces Related? (p. 273)
Please remember that for the out-of-class mini-lab you must write a short overview and conclusion.
How can you deliver a payload with a balloon rocket?
Please remember that for the out-of-class mini-lab you must write a short overview and conclusion.

Materials:
balloon, fishing line or string, plastic drinking straws, masking tape

Procedure:

  1. Make a guiding line for your balloon rocket by threading an 8-m string through a drinking straw. Tie each end to a chair and stretch it taut between the chairs.
  2. Blow up a balloon and pinch the end. Tape a very small object to the balloon in a location that will interfere as little as possible with the rocket's flight.
  3. With the straw at one end of the string, use tape to attach the inflated balloon to the straw.
  4. Release the balloon. Measure to the nearest centimeter how far your rocket travels.
Analysis:
  1. What propels the balloon forward? How does this demonstrate Newton's third law?
  2. Do you think your rocket would travel farther if it were not carrying the object? What changes could you make to allow your balloon to travel farther? Try it.
How can air resistance change the acceleration of a failing object?
Please remember that for the out-of-class mini-lab you must write a short overview and conclusion.

Materials:
old, hardcover book; scissors; piece of paper

Procedure:

  1. Obtain a discarded book. Cut a piece of paper the same size as the cover of the book.
  2. Predict whether the book or the paper will hit the floor first if you drop them the same way and at the same time.
  3. Try dropping them side by side with the greatest surface area facing down. Which object has the greater acceleration?
  4. Next, devise several methods to make the book and paper fall at nearly the same acceleration.
Analysis:
  1. If the acceleration of gravity is the same for all objects, how can you explain your results?
  2. Describe the methods you discovered for making the book and paper fall at nearly the same acceleration. Analyze how they work.
How does friction act as a force?
Please remember that for the out-of-class mini-lab you must write a short overview and conclusion.

Materials:
a sheet of smooth paper or slick piece of cloth, a 100-g mass or another unbreakable object with a smooth bottom surface, piece of coarse sandpaper, table

Procedure:

  1. Place a sheet of plain white paper near the edge of a flat surface, then set a I 00-g mass on the paper about 7 cm from the far end of the paper.
  2. Grip the end of the paper near the table's edge and give it a quick, smooth, downward yank. What happens?
  3. Replace the paper with a sheet of coarse sandpaper, rough side up, and repeat the procedure. Observe what happens to the mass.
Analysis:
  1. How do you interpret the different results?
  2. How can Newton's first law help explain your observations?
In-class Explorations
Be sure to read the directions for these on the How Do I Do That? page.
  1. Inertia Mass w/ String
  2. Galileo's Ramps
  3. 1981ish Chevrolet Citation
  4. Others TBA