A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Simple Harmonic Motion with Sam

Sunday, 06 July 2014 | 1 Comment

Back in 2012 when I first taught Extension 1 Mathematics, in particular Applications of Calculus to the Physical World - Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM), I captured this clip of my then 2 year old son:

This year, instead of using the clip as just an example, we watched the clip before SHM had even been mentioned. I asked the class to discuss and describe the displacement, velocity and acceleration. They observed, discussed and did a good job of describing (and plotting). (We also played the video at half speed to have a better look)

A little later I remembered that I had seen a Physics teacher blogger using video analysis software. Tracker seemed like the software of choice. This software has "automated object tracking" which worked ok, but I still did a lot of manual tracking. Anyway, here is the result:

This seems a lot more engaging than an applet.

With Extension 2 Mechanics in a week, it might be time to get Sam on his bike for some circular motion.

(Here's a nice collection to get an idea of what this software can produce.)

Posted in • ComputingSoftwareLesson IdeaCalculusMediaVideo | Short URL:


geoff dix on  06 July 14  at  11:37 PM #
great intro for students to observe and understand critical points for velocity and acceleration values + relationship to trig functions.

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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