the National Science Foundation
This video-based experiment employs a classic Galileo's Pendulum to promote understanding of conservation of mechanical energy. Students explore qualitative ideas in the first video, then expand those ideas through analysis of a second, longer video that recreates Galileo's "Pin and Pendulum" experiment. Each video includes learning goal and post-experiment questions. The instructional method of this experiment is based on cognitive apprenticeship, in which students focus on science process by observing, finding patterns, modeling, predicting, testing, and revising. The materials were designed to mirror the activities of scientists when they construct and apply knowledge.
See Related Materials for a link to background information on Galileo's historic pendulum experiment, which includes notes from his "Dialogues" treatise.
Please note that this resource requires
2D motion, Galileo, ISLE, Investigative Science Learning Environment, history of science, kinetic energy, pendulum, physics videos, video clips
Metadata instance created
November 18, 2011
by Caroline Hall
June 30, 2016
by Bruce Mason
Last Update when Cataloged:
September 19, 2008
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
3-5: 4F/E1a. Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces.
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
6-8: 4F/M3b. If a force acts towards a single center, the object's path may curve into an orbit around the center.
9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.
12. Habits of Mind
12C. Manipulation and Observation
6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.
6-8: 12C/M5. Analyze simple mechanical devices and describe what the various parts are for; estimate what the effect of making a change in one part of a device would have on the device as a whole.
12D. Communication Skills
6-8: 12D/M8. Explain a scientific idea to someone else, checking understanding and responding to questions.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Conservation of Energy Unit Title: Conservation of Energy
This video-based activity recreates Galileo's "Pin and Pendulum" experiment to promote understanding of the law of Conservation of Energy. Students explore qualitative ideas in the first video, then expand those ideas through analysis of a second, longer video.
%0 Electronic Source %A Etkina, Eugenia %D September 19, 2008 %T Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy %V 2017 %N 27 March 2017 %8 September 19, 2008 %9 video/quicktime %U http://paer.rutgers.edu/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59
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