Day 49: Poor Man’s Force Table


String, clamps, and spring scales. But I do use PASCO’s force table paper for easy angle measurement.

But today was to much me, not enough students. I should have made them draw the vector addition diagram for the situation to scale to see if it is closed as predicted. Then I should have asked them to try to “break” the model by trying new setups. (Changing angles, forces, number of forces, etc.)

What actually happened: I lead them through the situation using an unscaled vector addition diagram I drew on the blackboard. I assumed the diagram was closed and used the Law of Cosines fire two of the forces in order to predict the force of the third spring. Then I gave them a problem with a person pulling a wagon. Not a good lesson, in my opinion.


About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

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