Projectile Championship Cup 2017

Projectile Championship Cup 2017

Statement of Inquiry: How can we predict the positions of moving objects in two or more directions with multiple variables? 

Key Concept: Application of Kinematic Equations

Related Concepts: Making predictions, Multivariable Algebra, Problem Solving, Design Thinking Strategies

The ability for problem-based activities makes DP Physics one of the most fun classes out there.  The DP Physics class had a unique opportunity to design and create a lab from scratch with the 2017 Projectile Championship Cup. The Projectile Championship Cup requires students to send a metal marble down a ramp attached to a table and predict where to place the Championship Cup in order for the ball to go into the cup. The catch is, the students are not allowed any practice drops. They are allowed to use Logger Pro, a motion analysis program to get the final velocity of the ball leaving the ramp.  The rest of their prediction must come from calculations using the kinematic equations.

This year, the students also got to get more involved by going to LiaoYang Dong Lu to help design the ramps that they would be using. Once they received their ramps, the students began their experimenting.

It wasn’t long before the first try. The students meticulously lined up the Projectile Championship Cup with where they believed the ball would land.  Both first tries missed and while this may seem like a fail, it actually gave students the opportunity to utilize design thinking skills. They had to go back to the drawing board, do their calculations again, problem solve what went wrong, and try again.

For the second trial, Mrs. Daniel’s 3rd grade class was invited in to do some of the problem solving and set up with the DP students. This gave the DP students an opportunity to get to know the young scientists and get them excited about physics.

Here is a video of all the action:

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