Newton's Laws of Motion with PocketLab and Estes Air Rocket

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 18:19

Exploration Part 1

Previously you learned that the net force acting on an object is related to the object’s motion. The net force determines whether the velocity of an object will change. This is described in Newton’s First Law of Motion:

“An object at rest will remain at rest or an object in motion will remain in uniform motion unless acted upon by an outside force”.

In this experiment you will investigate Newton’s First Law. You will observe and measure the acceleration of an air rocket and determine how the forces interacting with it are causing the observed acceleration.

Objective Part 1

In this exploration, you will:
1. Observe and measure the acceleration of an air rocket.
2. Use qualitative and quantitative observation to determine and diagram the balance of forces acting on the rocket at different points in flight.
3. Use the observed data and the created force diagrams to explain and provide evidence for Newton’s First Law.

Exploration Part 2

Previously you learned that an object’s acceleration is related to the net force acting on the object and the object’s mass. The greater the net force acting on the object, the greater the acceleration of the object. The greater the mass of the object, the lesser the acceleration of the object. This is described in Newton’s Second Law of Motion:

“The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on the object and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.”

Using an air rocket and PocketLab’s accelerometer, you will create your own experiment that accurately tests Newton’s Second Law of Motion. The goal of your investigation will be to collect data that either proves or refutes Newton’s claim.

Objective Part 2

In this exploration, you will:
1. Design a controlled investigation that accurately tests how different independent variables affect a dependent variable. In the design, you will determine what the independent and dependent variables are, and how best to collect data on those variables.
2. Plan an accurate method to collect data and make qualitative observations in order to determine how the movement of an object is affected by the object’s mass and the strength of the forces acting on the object.
3. Use collected data and qualitative observations to draw a conclusion that explains and provide evidence for the natural phenomenon described in Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

 

Download PDF for entire lab activity.

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Rocket flight diagram
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