Sunday, March 11, 2012

Newton's Laws - Get Smarter and EARN A REWARD !

Newton’s Laws – who cares? Right?  Actually, Newton observed nature and realized that there are some very simple patterns that govern the way forces and matter act.  One of his observations is called “Newton’s First Law of Motion” or “the Law of Inertia”.

  • An object at rest tends to stay at rest (unless a force acts on it)
  • An object in motion tends to stay in motion (unless a force acts on it)

Think about it.  Have you ever seen a rock start to move on its own?  Ever seen a book fly across the room without help?  Probably not…. Because objects at rest tend to stay at rest.

Ever get concerned that the earth will simply stop flying around the sun?  When throwing a baseball do you ever worry that the ball will just stop in midair and fall?  Nope! Because objects in motion tend to stay in motion.

For this experiment, you will need a marble (or a small ball), a tape measure, and one empty paper towel roll. You will also need to download and print the form at this link.  Experiment Record Form  (If you are unable to get to the link, Mrs D will provide you a copy of the form.)

First, place the marble on the floor and mark its position.  Wait 60 seconds and record how far the marble moved on its own.  Wait 60 more seconds and record how far the marble moved.  Did the marble move?  Explain what you observed.

Create a ramp with the paper towel roll by holding one end 6 inches off the floor and allowing the other end to rest on the floor.  Release the marble into the paper towel roll and allow the marble to roll across the floor until it stops.  Measure how far the marble rolled across the floor.  Perform this experiment three times and record your results each time. 
Now select a different floor surface (one that is rougher or smoother than the first) and do the experiment again three times.  Record your results. 

To Receive a Reward – Complete the following by class time on Friday, 16 March.
  • Conduct the experiment described above.
  • Record your results and answer all of the questions on the form that you downloaded.  Turn in your form to Mrs D and be prepared to tell her what you learned.

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