Physics Camp: Things that Crash!

Today, I used a lot of material from Mrs. Freudenberg’s friend, Griff Jones, who is also a modeler. His IIHS-HLDI website has a lot of fun lesson plans for Physics and Biology. (Note to self: This might be a really great entry point for social justice learning in Physics…not sure how yet, but could be…)

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 3.46.42 PM I created a little packet for them to follow today because yesterday, it seemed like we were all over the place and didn’t have something to go back to. The packet made it a little bit more tangible, and the campers were able to go back and forth between the directions for the specific activity and the main point projected onto the board.  However, I really should have created that packet a while ago. Lesson for next time..

Momentum Bashing- We used IIHS in the Classroom’s Lesson: Momentum Bashing 1 and 2 to start with the momentum bashing. I wish I could take credit for thinking of doing this activity because I think it’s super genius, but I’m definitely going to have to credit the wonderful Mrs. Freudenberg here. Using these Momentum Bashing lessons is giving me more ideas to use for next year’s Physics classes. I really like the way they were designed complete with the Introduction, Conclusion, and topical videos.

Water Balloon Toss- After exploring a bit with Momentum Bashing, we walked down to the 2nd floor (we were on the 4th floor) to fill up our water balloons. The Chemistry and Biology classrooms have sinks and the Physics classrooms do not. We learned how to tie water balloons without spraying ourselves. We successfully completed the water balloon tosses without anyone getting completely soaked.

Egg Drop Design Challenge- We made landing pads for [hard-boiled] eggs to land on. Once again, Mrs. Freudenberg hooked it up with a lesson plan- Egg Drop Design Challenge from the IIHS in the classroom website. We used parts of it for Physics last year, and we blew through it. I didn’t take the time to do the pre- and post- discussions with the students. I feel like the younger students were much more creative with their designs. The high school students used more science knowledge, but didn’t readily apply their creativeness to this project. It was great fun watching the students drop their eggs onto their landing pads.

Soft Landing- Next, we did Soft Landing, a design challenge from PBS Kids. I’m going to blame the heat on this, and totally forgot that they were supposed to make this in teams. They each made their own, but instead of 10 balloons, they had 4 to work with. A couple of the students thought that maybe they can combine some of their resources to make a really awesome contraption for their egg. We dropped our eggs from different heights, all the way to three stories up. Our last drop almost got Dr. Skrade, our school’s president, and Ms. Beima, the best volleyball coach ever.

Paper Car Crash- We used the Paper Car Crash lab from the IIHS in the Classroom website. Honestly, my brain was so fried from the heat at this point, students were asking if they can use ____ material for their car. I said yes. By the time I came to, I realized I totally allowed them to use materials that I initially told them not to. Some of the students who were following the rules realized this and called me out on my inconsistencies. I totally get it though, I’d be upset too. At the same time, the classroom needs air conditioning.

Please enjoy this video I made to recap Day 2-

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