Physics Classroom visit: Using the Impulse Momentum Theorem to Calculate Final Jump Height

John Drazan

Fellow John Drazan visited a regents physics classroom on Friday, February 6th to run a laboratory activity. Students were introduced to the material by using the impulse-momentum theorem in combination with the straight line motion equation to calculate the average force used by NBA players to dunk the basketball. They then used a vernier force plate system to record their own force vs time data. This data was used to calculate their take off velocity using the impulse-momentum theorem, which allowed students to calculate their maximum jump height. To serve as a control, students recorded their standing jump height using a marked chalkboard. Comparisons were made between the two methods of jump height calculation and students discussed the possible confounding factors such as differences in effort between the two jumps.


force plate data explanation

Contraceptive Simulation at the Mid-Year Workshop

Danielle Basore

DSC_0257Yesterday was the 3Helix Mid-Year Workshop, where each fellow presented to a group of teachers and fellows a current or potential classroom lesson.  I chose to present an in progress simulation that I have been working on involving contraception methods.  The main focus of my research at RPI is contraception, and I have been looking for ways to work it into my 3Helix lessons.

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Muscle Physiology Lesson Plan


Goals: The purpose of this lesson is to increase students’ understanding of muscular function by investigating the structure, metabolism and function of muscle cells. The class will be opened with a discussion regarding how weight training affects health and performance. The discussion will end with a series of “hook questions” that the class should be able to answer by the end of the period. Ideally, by the end of the class the students will have an appreciation for why the body needs so many seemingly redundant muscles.

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