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ERIC Number: EJ1213872
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Sports, Smartphones, and Simulation as an Engaging Method to Teach Projectile Motion Incorporating Air Resistance
Azhikannickal, Elizabeth
Physics Teacher, v57 n5 p308-311 May 2019
Much data, both published and anecdotal, have shown that students grasp scientific concepts more easily when they are directly involved in the learning via lab experiments or other hands-on activities. Hands-on or experiential learning also appears to aid in students' ability to retain scientific theory. One way to engage students in a first-year calculus-based classical physics course is with the use of smartphones to validate or illustrate a variety of concepts covered in the lectures. It is true that almost all incoming students own or have access to a smartphone. This paper presents a method for students to use a smartphone app to track the trajectory of a sports projectile fired in real time (i.e., a basketball, volleyball, shot put, etc.). This experimental result was compared to a theoretical prediction of the trajectory of the projectile using an incremental air resistance algorithm implemented in Microsoft Excel. The students were required to estimate all of the parameters within the drag force equation (i.e., the drag coefficient, density of air, etc.) that made up part of the theoretical prediction. Ultimately, the goal was for the students to compare their experimental result with their prediction and gain an appreciation for the factors affecting the agreement (or lack of) between the two results.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A