A piece of advice for all of you science teachers out there...try out a lab at home or in your classroom before presenting to the class. Here I am working on the falling balloon lab. My advice in this lab I created was to include a coin in the lip of the balloon and drop it. However, soon, I found the coin was too heavy and decided to change to paper clips. One paper clip weighs about 1 gram.
This lab is about air resistance, including laminar and turbulent air friction. I have noticed that many labs only consider air resistance as an experimental error. However, it is not hard to create a lab focusing on air resistance using household materials, which will work for either an Algebra or Calculus-based Physics Class. I am still editing the lab, but I will share it soon!
I like to try out each lab with students a few times before sharing my labs with other teachers, and so far the students have enjoyed the lab and learned a lot, using only a few simple materials, including:
· Several balloons
· Meter stick
· Several coins or paper clips
· Gram scale
Trying to capture another falling balloon drop...
sorry, I did not have my slow motion camera with me!
I hope this entry will inspire you to think about household materials that you could use in a simple physics lab in your classroom. Applying your creativity to creating new labs or demos can keep your teaching fresh and exciting.