BFA 8th Grade Students Predict and Test Physics Experiments

Target 1. Student-Centered Learning – FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step – Increase easily accessible opportunities for global collaboration for teachers and students.

Last week, BFA students in Mr. Palmer’s 8th Grade Science class studied Newton’s First Law of Motion: “An object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in uniform motion, unless an unbalanced external force is applied.”

Mr. Palmer was doing some very “cool” demonstrations with marbles for class to get their thinking ignited. If they were going to begin generating ideas, they needed an example of the First Law. Ms. Sobin, noticing how engaged the class was, suggested students try out the “tablecloth trick.” What a neat idea! In this experiment, often performed by magicians (and now 8th grade science students), a table is set and the tablecloth is quickly pulled out without disturbing the table setting.

MS Science Img

You can try it at home: Tablecloth Trick How To – please use plastic on your first attempt!

Mr. Palmer asked the students to predict the result of the demonstration, using their knowledge of Newton’s First Law and the force of friction. The students then put their predictions to the test, doing the trick themselves. And nothing was broken – although only plastics bowls and cups were used! It’s was great demonstration of Newton’s first law. There is also an exhibit about it in the Boston Science Museum that is also quite something to see.

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