Description: This is a simple experiment to demonstrate the idea of inertia. Students could be given eggs that are both raw and boiled and they could use evidence to support the identity of the labeled eggs. In the raw egg the yolk and fluid act as independent objects and so they will continue moving when the egg is briefly stopped.
Web Resource: Newton’s First Law - the Physics Classroom
Description: Special caution should be taken when sitting down or getting up from a bed of nails. In this video, Steve Spangler used a motor to lift the entire bed of nails up and down safely. Each of the nails is pushing on the participant but since there are so many nails the force is distributed safely between all of the nails. This demonstration could be used in any physics unit discussing forces and pressure.
Web Resource: Bed of Nails - Wikipedia
Description: Rube Goldberg machines are named after American cartoonist Rube Goldberg who drew complicated steps involved in doing a fairly simple task (like pouring milk in a glass). Students can study these machines, or build their own, to show how energy can be converted through a series of interactions. In lower elementary classes they might be shown or built to show how pushes or pulls can change the motion of objects. As they move through school they should start to identify specific collisions, interactions, and conversions of energy.
Web Resources: Rube Goldberg Machines - Wikipedia
Description: The Slinky was invented by Richard James, an engineer, who was working with springs to support and stabilize equipment on a ship. Simple slinky tricks show how forces (pushes and pulls) change the direction of an object. Students can design a set of stairs, or obstacles, that the Slinky can navigate. In the secondary science classroom it can be used to investigate inertia, oscillations, and Hooke's law. This phenomenon can also be used to investigate wave properties.
Web Resource: Slinky - Wikipedia
Description: Programmable magnets are engineered to have multiple magnetic regions. This allows engineers to build magnets that concentrate force, align spatially, or both attract and repel. Students can design simple solutions to human problems that use this cutting-edge technology.
Web Resource: Programmable Magnets - Wikipedia
Description: The coupled pendulum can be created with either string or a spring connecting the two pendulums. With each swing energy is transferred from one pendulum to the other. If the pendulums both have the same length one pendulum comes to a complete stop before alternating motion. This phenomenon can be used to show balanced and unbalanced forces, how motion can be used to predict future motion, and the conservation of energy.
Web Resource: L.R. Ingersoll Physics Museum
Description: The walking table uses pushes and pulls to move the table wherever it needs to be. This phenomenon can be used in kindergarten to show the difference between the two main forces (pushes and pulls). In grade three it can be used to illustrate balanced (not walking) forces and unbalanced (walking) forces.
Web Resource: Scheublin & Lindeman Design Studio
Description: The magnetic cannon contains four spaced neodymium magnets in a channel. Two balls bearings are placed between each ball bearing. When a new ball bearing is introduced a transfer of energy occurs and the final ball bearing leaves with a higher initial velocity than the first. This is a great phenomenon for studying transfer of momentum and the energy of an object based on its position within a magnetic field.
Web Resource: Magnetic Challenge with Bozeman Science