Motion Lessons

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"How to Present a Rock-it Science Lesson."
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Difficulty Level: This indicates how difficult it is for the teacher to present the lesson, not how hard it is for the student to do the experiment. Difficulty levels vary according to type of equipment needed, preparation time, and scarcity or expense of certain materials.

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 Motion
Balloon Rockets trailer
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Balloon Rockets -- Students experiment with different ways of shooting a balloon like a missile and try to hit a target. This relates to potential and kinetic energy, and Newton's three laws of motion. Difficulty: Easy
Bolos & Trebuchets trailer
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Bolos & Trebuchets -- Students try to predict the path of a projectile by swinging it at the end of a rope and choosing how fast to swing it and when to release it, in order to make it fly highest and farthest. They also get to see how the weight of an object affects its flight. This relates to centrifugal force, weight, velocity, momentum, and Newton's three laws of motion. Difficulty: Medium
Cartesian Divers trailer
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Cartesian Divers -- Students create a chamber with a small "creature" inside that will dive to the bottom or rise to the top seemingly by magic. This relates to properties of matter, liquids, gases, air pressure, and compressibility of air versus water. Difficulty: Easy
Gigantic Bubbles trailer
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Gigantic Bubbles -- Students try making bubbles in their hands, on the tabletop, and outdoors. This is related to buoyancy, air convection, reflection of light, evaporation, and light interference. Difficulty: Easy
Helium Balloons trailer
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Helium Balloons -- Students discover how to make neutrally buoyant helium balloons maneuver through suspended hula-hoops and they will see what keeps airplanes up in the air. This relates to density, mass, volume, adhesion, and lift. Difficulty: Easy
Hovercraft trailer
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Hovercraft -- Students use balloons and CDs to create a hovercraft that will slide effortlessly across the table. This relates to air pressure, surface area, friction, balance, and air bearings. Difficulty: Medium
Loop-de-Loop trailer
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Loop-de-Loop Flyers -- Students experiment with different shapes to see which ones are the best for flying in loops rather than in a straight line. This relates to air pressure, surface area, friction, lift, and drag. Difficulty: Easy
Popguns trailer
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Popguns -- Students experiment with the power of compressed air and build a launcher that will send a cork flying across the room. This relates to air pressure, friction, sound, and Newton's Three Laws of Motion. Difficulty: High
Puddle Jumpers trailer
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Puddle Jumpers -- Students experiment with different types of helicopter blade designs to see which ones provide the greatest lift and speed. This relates to air pressure, surface area, friction, lift, and drag. Difficulty: Medium
Straw Rockets trailer
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Straw Rockets -- Students experiment with two different ways of making a straw shoot through the air. This relates to air pressure, elastic energy, center of gravity, air friction, and Newton's three laws of motion. Difficulty: Easy
Tablecloth Pull trailer
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Tablecloth Pull -- Students use inertia to make some things move while others stand still. This includes yanking a tablecloth out from under a set of dishes without breaking them. This relates to friction and inertia. Difficulty: Easy
Tops trailer
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Tops -- Students experiment with the properties of gyroscopic tops, first feeling a big one push and pull against them, then making a small one of their own. This relates to balance, center of mass, precession, and conservation of momentum. Difficulty: Easy
Water Bottle Rockets trailer
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Water Bottle Rockets -- Students launch water bottles with bicycle pumps and discover how to make them go higher and farther by adding weight! This is an outdoor activity. This experiment demonstrates Newton’s laws of motion in a way that they will not forget. This relates to pressure, friction, air drag, momentum, compression of air, energy storage, Newton’s three laws of motion, and teamwork. Difficulty: High
waterpoweredcarstrailer
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Water Powered Rocket Cars -- This is literally a drag-racer. Use water and air pressure to make your car go as far as possible. This is an outdoor activity. This experiment demonstrates Newton’s laws of motion in a way that they will not forget. This relates to pressure, friction, air drag, momentum, compression of air, energy storage, Newton’s three laws of motion, and teamwork. Difficulty: High

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