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This classroom demonstration illustrates the concept of inertia. A large wooden crochet hoop is balanced on the lip of a glass soda bottle. A pencil is then balanced atop the hoop. The pencil remains stationary until the demonstrator yanks the hoop in a downward angle. Performed properly, the pencil should drop directly into the soda bottle below. The page contains photos and background information on the physics fundamentals (in this case, Newton's First Law of Motion). Performed incorrectly, the demo still illustrates the effects of a net external force on a stationary object.
Phun Physics is a collection of physics demonstrations which introduce basic physics topics, are approximately 45 minutes long, and can be varied for presentation to grades 3-12. See Related Items for a link to the full collection.
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
4G. Forces of Nature
Next Generation Science Standards
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions (5-PS2)
Students who demonstrate understanding can: (5)
Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)
Forces and Motion (PS2.A)
Types of Interactions (PS2.B)
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion
Unit Title: Newton's First Law & Inertia
A great companion to the "Dollar Bill Grab" above. This demo illustrates the same basic concept (Law of Inertia). If done correctly, it looks like a magic trick. Even if done incorrectly, it still demonstrates the idea of inertia at rest. Could be a good springboard for cooperative learning groups to discuss the meaning of net force, and what happens when net force is zero.Link to Unit:
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Phun Physics: Pencil Drop:
Is Part Of Phun Physics
this is the full collection of Phun Physics demonstrations for elementary and secondary science classrooms. Procedures and background information are available for each demo.relation by Caroline Hall
Covers the Same Topic As Phun Physics: Dollar Bill Grab
This is a demonstration by the same authors that also illustrates the principle of Newton's Law of Inertia. It can be modified for use in either an elementary or secondary science classroom.relation by Caroline Hall
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