Kinematics

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For the past few years, students in my first semester calculus physics laboratory have explored kinematics (and also a little dynamics) by building and launching model rockets. Working in groups, the students build Estes Big Bertha or Baby Bertha rockets from kits. Then, we travel to a local park to launch the rockets. The rockets

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There are many techniques to use to solve physics problems. One of my favorites is drawing flow-chart-like diagrams showing paths to solutions. ┬áThe resulting “maps” are great visual summaries of the mental thought processes that went into solving the problems. Below is an example. At first glance it may seem overwhelming and confusing. Take some

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In this guided practice, I work through a projectile motion problem involving the level horizontal flight of a water balloon. I end up deriving an expression relating the range, launch angle, and initial speed of a projectile undergoing level horizontal flight. Level horizontal flight is the situation where a projectile takes off and lands at