Objects that fall through the air
experience a frictional force of air resistance. The objects rate of
falling depends on four things; the physical dimensions, length, height,
and volume of the falling object, the speed of a falling object, and the
design of that body, and surface characteristics.
A feather dropped in air will appear
to "float" before it hits the bottom surface. This happens
because the air resistance acting on the feather has enough force to
keep suspended in air. A pencil, falls quickly. You or your students
should demonstrate this with objects like tissue, balls, or anything
handy. Students should predict how the object will fall before it
- In this lab the students will use
5 different models of gliders (see enclosed drawings on how to make
them). Assign one glider per group. Give them the appropriate
information from the enclosed directions. You may want each student to
make one glider each, or to work in partners. Make sure there are at
least two of each of the models.
- After the students construct their
model have them see which glider travels the farthest into the direction
of wind and with the wind. Use an area on the playground that you have
already measured from a starting point. This will make it much easier to
measure for the students. We recommend using the metric system.
- Students should follow their lab
sheet and obtain information from 10 trials; then determine the average
from the data. Have them record the data and resulting averages.
- Use 20 lb paper (normal writing
paper) to make the gliders.
- This data will be used for the
post lab to construct a graph of the results.