Swinging Pendulum

Get into the swing of things. Pupils use a pendulum to demonstrate the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy and back. After measuring the speed of a pendulum and compare it to the calculated theoretical speed, they determine the percent error for the measured speed and justify the differences.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Use the equations to determine the potential and kinetic energy of other objects
  • Calculate the period for various string lengths
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires a way to connect the pendulums to the ceiling

  • The activity contains assessment questions to ask the pupils before, during, and after the activity
  • The answer key provides possible answers

  • The exponents in the equations in the activity do not display correctly