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ERIC Number: EJ1172009
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
A Tale of Two Slinkies: Learning about Model Building in a Student-Driven Classroom
Berggren, Calvin; Gandhi, Punit; Livezey, Jesse A.; Olf, Ryan
Physics Teacher, v56 n3 p134-138 Mar 2018
We describe a set of conceptual and hands-on activities based around understanding the dynamics of a Slinky that is hung vertically and released from rest. This Slinky drop experiment typically lasts a fraction of a second, but when observed in slow motion, one sees the Slinky compress from the top down while the bottom portion remains at rest--naively seeming to defy gravity--until the Slinky has completed its collapse. The motion, or lack thereof, of the bottom of the Slinky after the top is released sparks student curiosity by challenging expectations and provides motivation and context for learning about scientific model building.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); US Department of Energy
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Berkeley)
Grant or Contract Numbers: DMS1211953; CMMI1233692; DEAC0205CH11231