Day 16: Agreeing on FBDs

This has never happened before, but when working on Matt Greenwolfe’s box pushing activity, students started drawing Free Body Diagrams and then they just got into a spontaneous conversation about the best way to represent forces in the diagram (I had introduced them only very quickly the day before). The big question was whether the arrows should begin on the dot, or begin where the force comes from, and after a little bit of questioning, I was amazed to see how the students were able to question one another an come to a consensus that drawing arrows that begin on the dot is more helpful, and the diagram in this drawing turned out to be the key to that insight, as these students drew their horizontal forces following a different convention than the one they used for vertical forces.

Screen Shot 2014 09 20 at 1 15 58 AM

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About John Burk

The ramblings of a physics teacher.
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