The Force of Gravity
Objective: The students will observe the force of gravity while objects are dropped.
Materials: a sheet of paper, a feather, and a small rock or stone
Someone will be designated to drop two of the objects at the same time to compare the rate at which they fall and hit the ground. The designated dropper should be instructed to let the objects fall simultaneously. Students will observe as objects are dropped. If you have a place where they can be dropped a further distance than from a ground level, that is even better. I use our 2nd floor porch. Ask the students beforehand to make a prediction as to what they think will happen. Which will fall first or the fastest? I have also varied the experiment by crumpling up the paper.... dropping it once flat and once crumpled. If you want to present a challenge you can always use a stopwatch to time the objects and graph the differences. You can also cover factors such as weight and surface area.
1. Which object do you think will fall the fastest?
2. What caused the objects to fall?
3. Does it make a difference if the paper if flat versus crumpled? Why do you think this happens?