I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!!

Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
The Center for Advancement of Teaching

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!!
Lesson Plan
Algebra 1 Level

Objective:To show that objects dropped from the same height will cover the distance in the same amount of time.

Engage: Discuss with the students the age-old question "Which is heavier a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?" Then discuss which would land first if dropped off the roof of the same building.

Explore: Complete the activity using the EA-100 and the CFX-9850.
Equipment Motion Detectors
balls of varying shapes and weights ex. Ping Pong, racquetball, beach ball, tennis ball, Koosh ball.
meter sticks - for measuring height
assorted other soft object suitable for dropping
data communication cable
  1. Perform the experiment as follows:
  2. Retrieve the data from the EA-100:
    a. Connect EA-100 to CFX-9850G using the data communication link.
    b. Turn on CFX-9850G and choose Run (1) from the menu.
    c. Press SHIFT VARS {PRGM}
    d. Press F6 (>) , then I/O {F4}
    e. Press Recu (F4) {Receive( }
    f. Press OPTN, List {F1}, List {F1} ,1, close Parenthesis { ) }
    g. Press SHIFT EXE { }
    h. Press Recu (F4) {Receive( }
    i. Press OPTN, List {F1}, List {F1} ,2, close Parenthesis { ) }
    j. Press EXE
  3. The data should now be listed in List 1 and List 2.
  4. For the next part of the procedure you will be operating in the STAT menu.
    a. After entering the STAT menu, you should find List 1 through List 2. Press GRAPH {F1}
    b. Press SEL {F4}
    c. StatGraph 1 : DrawOn
    d. EXIT
    e. Press SET {F6}
    Graph Type: xyline
    Xlist : List 1
    Ylist : List 2
    Frequency : 1
    Mark Type :
    Graph Color: CHOICE
    f. EXIT
    g. GRPH 1 {F1}

    After the students have gotten a graph, use the graph to determine the time (x-axis) that the object traveled to the ground ( or lowest point.) Be sure that the students check each y-axis to insure that objects are being dropped from a uniform height. Students will check several different balls to determine whether the time remained constant.

Explain: Have the groups come together to compare results. Discuss the similarities and differences of their findings. Students should discuss whether there are other times when the objects are the same height. Discuss whether the curves are narrow or wide.

Elaborate:Have students drop other objects from the same height. They should discuss the shape, weight, and accuracy of performing the experiment. Have students discuss other factors that might change the results obtained.

Evaluate Have students write a paper describing the procedures and findings of this activity.

Developed by:
Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
Butler High School Matthews, NC

additional help from:
Neal Farley
Independence High School
Charlotte, NC