A Tale of Two Slinkies: Learning about Model Building in a Student-Driven Classroom

A Tale of Two Slinkies: Learning about Model Building in a Student-Driven Classroom We describe a set of conceptual and hands-on activities based around understanding the dynamics of a Slinky that is hung vertically and released from rest. This Slinky drop experiment typically lasts a fraction of a second, but when observed in slow motion, one sees the Slinky compress from the top down while the bottom portion remains at rest—naively seeming to defy gravity—until the Slinky has completed its collapse. The motion, or lack thereof, of the bottom of the Slinky after the top is released sparks student curiosity by challenging expectations and provides motivation and context for learning about scientific model building. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Physics Teacher American Association of Physics Teachers

A Tale of Two Slinkies: Learning about Model Building in a Student-Driven Classroom

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Publisher
American Association of Physics Teachers
Copyright
© American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
ISSN
0031-921X
D.O.I.
10.1119/1.5025285
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We describe a set of conceptual and hands-on activities based around understanding the dynamics of a Slinky that is hung vertically and released from rest. This Slinky drop experiment typically lasts a fraction of a second, but when observed in slow motion, one sees the Slinky compress from the top down while the bottom portion remains at rest—naively seeming to defy gravity—until the Slinky has completed its collapse. The motion, or lack thereof, of the bottom of the Slinky after the top is released sparks student curiosity by challenging expectations and provides motivation and context for learning about scientific model building.

Journal

The Physics TeacherAmerican Association of Physics Teachers

Published: Mar 1, 2018

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