This lab is designed to have students construct balloons and have them race down fishing line to explore the conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy, Newton’s 2nd and 3rd Laws of Motion, and the equilibrium of forces. The lab is 4 pages long with detailed, easy to follow instructions, that should allow the students to seamlessly complete the lab with little teacher redirection. But in reality, at least with my students, they need to be kept on-task whenever they perform a lab.
Jamie and Adam explore the story that an ultra-low frequency note will make a person lose bowel control. They also test to see if the force of a bullet is enough to knock a person backwards like in the movies. Finally, Kari, Tory, and Grant investigate if Chinese water torture is effective. Scientific topics addressed include Newton’s Third Law of Motion, equal and opposite reactions, mass and inertia, speed and mass, impact force, energy dissipation, low frequency sound waves, infrasound, hertz, frequencies, biological responses, mental confusion, decibels, psychological stresses, and human ethics.
The Mythbusters examine whether a tongue piercing will attract lightning during a storm, see if a handmade medieval cannon could explode with deadly consequences, and test if there is any way to beat the breathalyzer test. Topics of interest include electrical conductivity, electrical fields, electrical engineering, experimental controls, manipulating experimental design variables, metal contraction, Newton’s Third Law of Motion, a discussion of the relationship between mass, force, and acceleration, Newton’s Second Law of Motion, alcohol metabolism, and public safety.
The Mythbusters test the ancient myth that the Chinese put a man into space in the 15th century. Jamie and Adam also attempt to verify if there is anything as free energy. Grant, Kari, and Tory investigate whether a spinning ceiling fan can act as a decapitation machine. Science topics include the Law of Conservation of Energy, structural integrity, Newton’s Third Law of Motion, equal and opposite reactions, thrust, forces, flight stability, thrust vectoring, exhaust gas pressure, perpetual motion machines, phase changes, density, internal and external energy sources, center of mass, animal and human analogs, and rotational inertia. The episode can be found on either of the following DVD sets (they are identical).
Adam and Jamie are examining the myth that wrecking balls can be used to make a Newton’s Cradle. Grant, Kari, and Tory are also testing to see whether a bird perched on a teetering car can cause it to fall over the edge. Scientific concepts include energy transfer, Newton’s Third Law, equal and opposite reactions, energy efficiency, surface deformation, elastic and inelastic collisions, potential and kinetic energy, pendulum motion, trophic levels, biology, predator prey relationships, energy flow, food webs, type 1 lever, fulcrum, pivot points, lever arms, and torque.
Adam and Jamie test the classic myth about seeing if any amount of force can separate two phone books when the pages are interwoven. Tory, Grant, and Kari team up to investigate a movie scene with explosions, harpoons, and sharks! Science topics discussed include static friction, kinetic friction, forces, small scale testing, Newton’s Third law of Motion, equal and opposite reactions, tension, chemical reactions, projectile motion, projectile accuracy, shock waves, energy dissipation, and organ trauma.
The Mythbusters discover if it is possible to use Gummy Bears as rocket fuel! An excellent example of the application of Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Scientific concepts include Newtons Third Law, equal and opposite reactions, rocketry, rocket design and engineering, fuel grain, liquid oxygen (LOX), controlled burn, thrust vectors, joules of energy, liquid fuel rockets, solid fuel rockets, altitude, and alternative fuel sources.
Adam and Jamie test the myth that wearing steel toed boots can actually cause toes to become amputated. This is a great segment showing the importance of safety shoes. Kari, Tory, and Grant test the myth that a person can become airborne with soda bottles strapped to their backs. This myth demonstrates the difficulty of engineering solutions and the application of Newton’s Third Law of Motion. The science topics mentioned include force, pressure, structural rigidity, structural integrity, human skeletal analogs, Newton’s Third Law, equal and opposite reactions, air pressure, thrust, water to air ratios, PSI, space shuttle Challenger disaster, and o ring failure.