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I'm trying (and really struggling) to think of something to do with my year 10 physics class in the last lesson of the year. There isn't the time to go onto an extended project or anything like that, and the last lesson is at the end of the penultimate day of school (basically the last lesson of the whole year as there are no lessons on the last day). I want to do something fun with them (preferrably involving a practical) that still has a basis in physics and is going to teach them something/use some physics skills, but I am struggling to even think of one thing!
The only thing that I can think of is building, testing and then racing balloon racecars, but this usually takes more than one lesson. Does anyone have any suggestions for activities?
get the van der graff out. the kids love it!!!
Sadly I've already done that - we looked at statics in preparation for next year. I've done the standard hair standing on end/cake cases flying off into the air/lighting a bunsen, is there anything else I could do with it?
Is centripetal motion on your Y11 spec? If so, why not try the "whirling bung" experiment?
Is astronomy on your spec? Show them good quality photos of the Moon / Milky Way / some constellations. Ask them to look out for and record celestial items during their holidays: some may be going to "Dark Sky" locations (assumimg it stops raining ) or to other latitudes where the phenomena are slightly different - it was careful observation which lead to our modern understanding.
Is electromagnetism on your spec? Show them the demo transformer (including the calculations - no rest for the wicked!) with the nail-melting experiment. Set them a homework to find out how electricity gets to their holiday home (assuming they are going away). [I always used to set that when folk went off on ML exchanges: it makes them consider their services and their environment, and can improve their language skills.]
Check with your tecs that they are happy for you to utilise equipment at that point: I always remember a Deputy Head who asked for all the ripple tanks (8!) to be set up at break and dismantled during the lunch-hour, whilst the rest of the staff went to the pub: Mr Popular!
Some good ideas there, thanks!
I think I might go for the whirling bung experiment - the other activities you suggest are great as they lead to further work, but I'm starting a job at a new school in September so I need to leave it at a point where the new teacher can easily pick it up (and they're not the most dedicated bunch, especially when it comes to work outside of class)
I was going to say that I can't believe that Deputy Head made that equipment request, but thinking back on some SLT member I've known then actually it's not difficult to imagine!
Cheers for the help
A couple of my colleagues have been making Rube Goldberg style machines with their classes - they can use any equipment in the lab and their task is to turn on a light in the slowest time possible. If you want a nice way to introduce the topic use the OK Go video "This too shall pass" (Rube Goldberg version) which is a 4 minute machine in action
That's a brilliant idea, I've got to try that sometime! Thanks for the idea!
If you haven't done water rockets ....
Various plastic drinks bottles. Bungs to fit bottles, needle type nossle(s) for footpump. Plastic tube (rolled sheet) for launcher.
Put the nossle(s) carefully through the bung(s), fill bottle to about 1/5 with water, place in launcher from rear, do not let kids in front or look down launcher, but someone can hold it.
Pump, water bubbles are seen and eventually the pressure builds sufficiently to overcome friction of bung.
Ask about Newtons laws (particularly when they see the water ejected from the exhaust), energy density, pressure versus friction, delta vee. They will ask about filling the bottle with water, get them to work out that it wont go far like that.
Games are highest, furthest, targets. Ask about angles and trajectories.
Aweful lot of science and fun, and remember ... It's not rocke... oh sorry, yes it is.
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