Penny for Your Thoughts on Inertia

Use pennies and index cards to explore inertia and the well-known magician's table cloth trick.

Key Question

How is a magician's tablecloth trick similar to a crash dummy falling off the tailgate of a pickup truck as the truck accelerates?

Student Directions

  1. View the Introduction Video.
  2. Download and print the Student Activity Sheet.
  3. Do the activity and begin answering the analysis questions.
  4. View the Conclusion Video and finish answering the analysis questions.
  5. View the video segment of "It's Basic Physics" to help review the science concept(s).

Inertia: the resistance, of any physical object, to any change in its velocity

Mass: the quantity of matter in a body regardless of its volume or of any forces acting on it

Force: something that causes a change in the motion of an object

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About

Use pennies and index cards to explore inertia and the well-known magician's table cloth trick.

Key Question

How is a magician's tablecloth trick similar to a crash dummy falling off the tailgate of a pickup truck as the truck accelerates?

Directions

Student Directions

  1. View the Introduction Video.
  2. Download and print the Student Activity Sheet.
  3. Do the activity and begin answering the analysis questions.
  4. View the Conclusion Video and finish answering the analysis questions.
  5. View the video segment of "It's Basic Physics" to help review the science concept(s).
Vocabulary

Inertia: the resistance, of any physical object, to any change in its velocity

Mass: the quantity of matter in a body regardless of its volume or of any forces acting on it

Force: something that causes a change in the motion of an object

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