Thursday, February 26, 2009

Physics: The physics of swings

This week we continued our investigations into playground physics. The kids set out to understand what a swing is by building them out of Kinex. Once we had a few models to compare, we were able to consider what sorts of changes we could make to the design to affect the swing's period, the time it takes to swing back and forth. The kids came up with a few different variables: the mass of the swing, the length of the swing, and the height or angle at which you start the swing. Like our experiments with friction, we plan to test these variables in the field, on actual swings. Next week (weather-permitting) we'll visit a playground and see which of these variables affects a swing's period the most.

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