Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gravity Lab Extension

During our study on gravity, we watched a video clip of Miss Russell skydiving. We thought it'd be interesting as an extension activity to show the historic Space Jump that occurred on Sunday and compare it to Miss Russell's experience. 

After we watched the video clip, we discussed the space suit used by Mr. Baumgartner, the capsule that he rode in, and the helium balloon he used to carry him into the stratosphere.

We then embarked on a little competition to offer basic exploration of weight and overcoming gravity, and the opportunity for students to engage in a trial and error method of problem solving.  Their challenge was to make a miniature hot air balloon that would hover in the air and move slowly toward the ceiling. If they added too much weight, gravity would be too strong. If they added too little weight, the balloon would rise too quickly. The group who had the miniature balloon that floated the slowest to the ceiling would claim victory.  There were four trials in all and watching the excited students as they planned, implemented, and launched their balloons was well worth the slightly organized chaos in our learning laboratory.

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