Physics Friction Lab Field

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On Tuesday, January 23, 2019, Mr. Wolff, Redbank Valley High school physics teacher,  took his physics class to the Gourley Farm to conduct a friction lab using sleds. The class goes to the Gourley Farm every year to keep a constant variable (the hill they go down) in the friction lab assignment.

Using a tape measure, the physics student measured 250 feet on the hill. They timed to see how long it took each student to slide down the hill on the same sled.  As students were recording data, Mr. Wolff realized that there was a difference between last year’s and this year’s results. Some variables that could have created such a change include the weight of the students, how much snow there was, and the sled that they used. The snow was also different this year with a layer of ice on top of the snow. In order to decrease the variables, Mr. Wolff has ordered sleds for future friction labs.

Mr. Wolff has been doing this lab for three years now and has hopes for more years to come, as long as Mother Nature cooperates by giving the snow.

Mr. Wolff shared the sledding  friction lab video with all 9th grade physical science students to encourage them to take more advanced physics courses in the future. This lab proves that physics can be a fun, hands-on class.

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