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Cheap Toys!

September 17, 2010

This weekend CVS had all its summer toys on sale for 90% off, so I came away with this haul for $9.

All this for $9

So how will I use all this in my class? I love having a skateboard in class because it’s great to put a dynamics cart in the center of the skateboard, and then secure 2 small ringstands to the front and back of the skateboard, which i use to hold spring scales to the front and back of the cart. Students can then see that the spring scales look exactly the same when the cart is moving forward at constant velocity as it does when it is at rest (which they are starting to realize is just constant velocity).

The planes should make for some fun energy investigations. I think one of the joys of my impending parenthood is going to be getting to visit the toy store much more frequently.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2010 11:52 am

    I’m having trouble picturing the skateboard set-up. Would you be able to show a picture?

    Regarding forces at constant velocity: I do a series of demos with “dueling fan carts.” In one variation, the carts are attached to each other and the fans are set to the same speed but in opposite directions. Of course, the 2-cart combo doesn’t move. But what happens after I give the combo a push? Will it speed up, slow down, or cruise at constant speed? It’s amazing for the kids to see that it still moves at constant speed, just as if I pushed it with the fans turned off. Really drives the point home. (Other variations include combinations of low/high fan speeds with fans oriented in the same/opposite directions.)

    Thanks for the CVS tip! I’ll have to stop by on my way home today!

  2. September 17, 2010 12:17 pm

    I love the fan cart idea. I’m going to use this. Here’s a diagram of what I’m talking about with the skateboard thing:

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