Home Page of Peggy E. Schweiger
EGGS On My Head!!
As a physics teacher, I will do anything to get my students to learn and to apply the kinematics equations and concepts learned in the classroom. A very effective way is to give the students the opportunity to target the physics teacher on the head with an egg. The egg is dropped from a tower as I walk under it. Dropping an egg on the teacher's head is quite an incentive to try to discover a successful solution to the problem proposed. Since students are interested and eager to analyze the project after the drop, give students the opportunity to discuss their results.
I describe the activity to the students at the beginning of our study on two-dimensional motion. I do not tell them how to solve the problem, only that what they learn in the classroom will enable them to do it. I do not tell them what information that they need to obtain in order to solve the problem. I provide the information when asked only when asked.
- To drop an egg from a tower that will hit the teacher on the head as he/she walks under the tower.
- To use math skills and formulas to solve a problem.
- Lots of large eggs.
- Outdoor drop tower six to ten meters high.
- A hard hat and a poncho are a good idea.
- On drop day, each group must submit their equations supporting their plan to drop the egg on the teacher's head. By drop day, they must have obtained all pertinent data and information. This must be recorded on their plan. This is a group grade worth a maximum of 50 points (It is graded for accuracy and correctness).
- Fifty points is awarded for answers to the following questions:
- Describe the information and data that you obtained before drop day to calculate when to drop the egg.
- Describe the vertical motion involved in this activity. What equations did you apply to the vertical motion and why?
- Describe the horizontal motion involved in this activity. What equations did you apply to the horizontal motion and why?
- Describe what part of your plan was successful. What information did you include and why?
- Describe what part of your plan was not successful and why. What information should you have included and why?
Form for answering questions
- A ten point bonus is awarded to the group who successfully hits the teacher on the head with an egg.
This project is based upon an activity by Doug Forrest described in The Physics Teacher, volume 37/number 6, pages 371-372.