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NFL* Garners Cheers

July 24, 2011

With all of the excitement related to NFL lately, I just had to jump on the bandwagon and write a post on the subject.  Honestly, who knew that a room filled with teachers could get so excited about Newton’s First Law!  I truly am delighted that during the ToPPS Science Institute at NWOSU, laughter and cheering ensued as participants successfully demonstrated the law of inertia.

Once in motion, objects remain in that state of motion if in the absence of unbalanced forces:

How about the dedication of everyone in the room measuring the times at known distances to determine the nature of this law empirically?  It only takes a minute or two to run a few trials.

This video is one of my favorites from the institute.  And it’s not because of the successful demonstration.  Its appeal to me has to do with the excitement and camaraderie in the room.  On day one, this former engineer revealed he had changed careers to begin teaching this fall.  I can only imagine his thoughts, anticipations, expectations as summer works its way to the first day of classes.  But, less than halfway through the institute, he’d forged friendships and developed a newfound confidence in his role as a teacher within the PTRA / ToPPS community.  This clip shows him sharing a moment similar to those he’ll help create in his own classroom in the coming years.

...remained in its state of rest in the amphitheater until an unbalanced force acted on it ...

And can you believe Brian Lamore?  Even as the institute came to an end, he was thinking ahead.  By leaving his roll away luggage in the amphitheater while on the way to the airport, he was intentionally reminding us of the law of inertia.  And he was right!  His luggage, which was at rest, did not change its state of motion until an unbalance force was applied to accelerate it to the post office.  I just cannot fathom the “forward thinkingness” of Brian, can you?? 🙂

*For those led to this post searching for stories on the other NFL, you’ve been lured here shamelessly by a physics educator who finds humor in the acronym.  Don’t worry though, there’s lots here for you too.  Get your game on and watch these halftime shows worth your time!!!  http://physics.unl.edu/outreach/football.html .  As for ToPPS participants, if you want support and attention drawn to your science program(s), isn’t this an amazing idea?!  What about putting on basketball halftime shows–could you and your students carry out a demonstration every once in a while?  I know it’s got me thinking . . .

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From → ToPPS

One Comment
  1. These were just a couple of many such engaging activities. I think all had a great time. I did. There’s more to see at this website: https://sites.google.com/site/toppsworkshopsummer2011/

    Oh, and, uh, let me know the postage for my luggage…

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