Flying objects and mathematical models

Laboratory fourteen focuses on whether the students can investigate a previously unencountered physical system, make measurements, analyse data, and propose a mathematical model for their results.  This puts the student in the position of a scientist investigating a new system for which no parameters nor models are known.

Marsha measures the distance the flying disk flew

Wind was a factor in the runs. Speeds tended to cluster around 30 to 40 kph (8.3 m/s to11.1 m/s). I suggested that the students consider lower speeds including a launch velocity of zero. The students were also reticent to throw at higher speeds. I held the radar gun, so they had to throw at me. Peak speeds of 70 kph, 19.1 m/s, were achieved by a few students who were willing to throw faster.

The students stood to the east and threw to the west

Some students obtained rather linear data, others obtained data that appeared to be more randomly related to launch velocity. The latter students may have explored too narrow a range of launch speeds. The students do not seem to grasp the value of low velocity throws, although speeds below 16 kph (4.4 m/s) cannot be captured by the radar gun. That said, most students threw 30 kph and higher.

Mary-Ann confers with Petery while Ioakim records data

Macy returns with a flying ring

Marsha at a new location

Introduction to the concepts underneath the laboratory

A slice of the non-flying theory on the board

Close-up of chart on board

Midday class in the tropical sun


The class lined up to throw

Erika measures the distance to her disk

Sahn returning with his ring

Sunny and hot at high noon on the lawn in an El Nino November. Casan-Jenae, Sharisey, Adelma, Monaliza, Stephanie

Leionna, Everashia, Meagan, Patty

Monaliza, Erika


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