Using Conservation of Energy to Determine Average Impact Force

Explore the center of gravity with your science class as they create a deadfall trap with common materials. They research the concepts of energy conservation and gravitational force before dividing into small groups to create a model of a trap that could theoretically catch a predator. The activity concludes with data collection and analysis as well as a group-led discussion.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Encourage the class to brainstorm ideas that could also model the concept of energy conservation to determine the average impact force
Classroom Considerations
  • Provide a calculator for all pupils
  • Assist any learners as they complete the data table and write the final lab conclusion
  • Hands-on application allows learners to gain insight while manipulating materials during the experiment 
  • Detailed instructions allow the class to perform the activity in small groups or as one large student-facilitated group
  • None