mechanics

Do your students have trouble with the normal force?

February 12, 2009

A lot of students will say that if you put a bowling ball on the table, there’s no “normal force” – the table is just “in the way.”  So try this first, says Eugenia Etkina. Have them hold a bowling ball and a tennis ball. Now draw a picture, using arrows, showing what their hand […]

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Whack a Stack

October 3, 2008

Needing to teach Newton’s Laws?  Don Rathjen, staff educator at the Exploratorium, has been teaching mechanics to students for over 20 years.  This one’s an old favorite — a noisy activity with wood flying everywhere.  You can listen to Don demonstrate how to teach the activity (and geekgirl has some fun with it too) on […]

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Tutorials in Upper-division Mechanics

July 21, 2008

[[AAPT Session: Tutorials in Upper-division Mechanics]] This post is mostly directed towards college teachers. I just went to a session with Brad Ambrose from Grand Valley State University (in Michigan). Along with Michael Wittman from U. Maine, he’s developed tutorials for teaching college-level mechanics. All his materials can be downloaded at http://perlnet.umaine.edu/imt/index.html. Tutorials are a […]

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