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published by the Physics Education Technology Project
written by Steve Reeves
This is a context-rich activity developed specifically to accompany the PhET simulation Projectile Motion. Students view NASA's "Feather Drop" video as a context for exploring the effects of air resistance (or lack of it). Afterward, they use the simulation to explore projectile motion with and without air resistance. The lesson plan provides explicit instructions for using the simulation and suggestions for data recording. The purpose of the lesson is for students to think deeply about how gravity and air resistance affect the motion of a projectile.

See Related Materials for a link to the Projectile Motion simulation, which must be running to complete this activity.
Editor's Note: This activity was developed for high school, but can also be adapted for Grades 7-8.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Applications of Newton's Laws
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= Projectile Motion
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Problem Solving
- Instructional Material Design
= Simulation
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Problem/Problem Set
= Student Guide
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Format:
application/ms-word
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2005 PHET; University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
Keywords:
2d motion, acceleration, air resistance, ballistic motion, drag, drag coefficient, gravity, interactive multimedia, kinematics, projectile motion
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 14, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
September 14, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 5, 2009

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
  • 9-12: 11B/H1a. A mathematical model uses rules and relationships to describe and predict objects and events in the real world.
  • 9-12: 11B/H3. The usefulness of a model can be tested by comparing its predictions to actual observations in the real world. But a close match does not necessarily mean that other models would not work equally well or better.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)

MP.1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

Common Core State Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6—12

Text Types and Purposes (6-12)
  • 1. Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. (WHST.6-8.1)
Production and Distribution of Writing (6-12)
  • WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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Record Link
AIP Format
S. Reeves, (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2836).
AJP/PRST-PER
S. Reeves, PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance, (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), <http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2836>.
APA Format
Reeves, S. (2009, January 5). PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance. Retrieved December 20, 2014, from Physics Education Technology Project: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2836
Chicago Format
Reeves, Steve. PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, January 5, 2009. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2836 (accessed 20 December 2014).
MLA Format
Reeves, Steve. PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, 2005. 5 Jan. 2009. 20 Dec. 2014 <http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2836>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Steve Reeves", Title = {PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance}, Publisher = {Physics Education Technology Project}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {20 December 2014}, Month = {January 5, 2009}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%A Steve Reeves
%T PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance
%D January 5, 2009
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%C Boulder
%U http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2836
%O application/ms-word

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Reeves, Steve
%D January 5, 2009
%T PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%V 2014
%N 20 December 2014
%8 January 5, 2009
%9 application/ms-word
%U http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/2836


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PhET Teacher Activities: Projectile Motion-Gravity & Air Resistance:

Accompanies PhET Simulation: Projectile Motion

A link to the PhET simulation Projectile Motion, which must be running to complete this activity.

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