FOSS Course Summary

Course Summary – Gravity and Kinetic Energy

The anchor phenomenon investigated in this course is a collision between a “bean brain” and the floor. How does gravity cause objects to move? What happens to an object’s energy when it moves faster? What happens when moving objects collide? How can humans protect themselves in collisions? These are the fundamental physics questions explored by students in this course as they explore the anchor phenomena of falling objects and collisions.

In the FOSS Gravity and Kinetic Energy Course, students test motion at various speeds to explore acceleration and to learn about gravity. They use digital video analysis to calculate the acceleration of gravity. They observe patterns of collisions to discern how the variables of mass and speed affect energy, and they develop a model of force and energy transfer within systems based on Newton’s three laws of motion.

At the end of this course, students apply what they’ve learned to solve an engineering challenge to reduce the force transferred in a collision. Students leave this course with an understanding of force and energy that forms a solid foundation for high school and college physics. The driving question for the course is how can we explain the motion of objects?

The FOSS Gravity and Kinetic Energy Course is a 6-week course.

For a description of each investigation in Gravity and Kinetic Energy and correlations to the Next Generation Science Standards, download the Gravity and Kinetic Energy Course Overview PDF.

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