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written by Eugenia Etkina
supported by 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 Quicktime.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= 2D Acceleration
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
- Work and Energy
= Conservation of Energy
Education Foundations
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Learning Theory
= Cognitive Apprenticeship
General Physics
- History
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
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© 2006 Rutgers University
2D motion, Galileo, ISLE, Investigative Science Learning Environment, history of science, kinetic energy, pendulum, physics videos, video clips
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created November 18, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 19, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 19, 2008

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 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.
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Record Link
AIP Format
E. Etkina, (2006), WWW Document, (http://islephysics.net/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59).
E. Etkina, Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy (2006), <http://islephysics.net/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59>.
APA Format
Etkina, E. (2008, September 19). Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from http://islephysics.net/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59
Chicago Format
Etkina, Eugenia. Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy. September 19, 2008. http://islephysics.net/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59 (accessed 20 June 2024).
MLA Format
Etkina, Eugenia. Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy. 2006. 19 Sep. 2008. National Science Foundation. 20 June 2024 <http://islephysics.net/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Eugenia Etkina", Title = {Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {20 June 2024}, Month = {September 19, 2008}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%A Eugenia Etkina %T Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy %D September 19, 2008 %U http://islephysics.net/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59 %O video/quicktime

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Etkina, Eugenia %D September 19, 2008 %T Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy %V 2024 %N 20 June 2024 %8 September 19, 2008 %9 video/quicktime %U http://islephysics.net/pt3/experimentindex.php?topicid=4&cycleid=59

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Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycle on Energy:

Same topic as Galileo, or Stopped, Pendulum

This resource describes the classic 17th Century "Stopped Pendulum" experiment. It includes an excerpt from Galileo's "Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences" describing the experiment.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Part Of Rutgers Physics Teaching Technology Resource

This is the full index of video-based experiments for introductory physics, developed by the same author.

relation by Caroline Hall

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