An introduction to the fundamental concepts of classical mechanics (2nd grade of Gymnasium, 1st and 2nd grade of Lyceum) and an introduction to the dynamics of rigid bodies (3rd grade of Lyceum).

2nd Gymnasium

Why do boats float and rocks sink? Is it possible to lie down on a bed of nails? Who would you prefer to step on your foot, an elephant or a woman in high heels? If you were to drop a hammer and a feather from the same height, which would hit the ground first? Why do we dry our wet hands by shaking them, and how do wet animals dry themselves? How do rockets propel themselves in space?

This series of experiments for 2nd Gymnasium students aims to answer these questions and familiarize students with the concepts of inertia, velocity, acceleration, force, pressure and conservation of energy. Students will explore Newton’s laws, conservation of energy and Pascal’s and Archimedes’ principles, as well as their applications to everyday life.

Topics Covered

  1. Mass, inertia.
  2. Velocity.
  3. Force.
  4. Uniformly accelerated motion.
  5. Action – reaction.
  6. Conservation of linear momentum.
  7. Pressure.
  8. Pascal’s and Archimedes’ principles.
  9. Buoyancy.
  10. Work – energy.
  11. Pulleys and forces.
  12. Conservation of energy.

1st and 2nd Lyceum

Why do our bodies keep moving forward when the car instantly breaks? How do seatbelts function? How do rockets propel themselves in space? Why does a cannon recoil backwards when it is fired? What keeps objects moving in circular paths?

The series of experiments in this demonstration introduces students to Newton’s laws of motion and their applications, as well as to fundamental concepts of classical mechanics, such as inertia, mass, velocity, acceleration, force, momentum and circular and projectile motion. Students will explore the behaviour of objects in free fall and circular and projectile motion and familiarize themselves with conservations laws and their everyday life applications.

Topics Covered

  1. Free fall.
  2. Mass, inertia.
  3. Uniformly accelerated motion.
  4. Newton’s 1st and 2nd law.
  5. Action – reaction (Newton’s 3rd law).
  6. Momentum – conservation of linear momentum.
  7. Projectile motion.
  8. Circular and parabolic orbits.
  9. Uniform circular motion.
  10. Centripetal – centrifugal forces.
  11. Work – energy.
  12. Pulleys and forces.
  13. Conservation of energy.

3rd Lyceum

Why do we use screwdrivers? Why do we use wrenches with long arms? Why are doorknobs placed as far as possible from the hinges? Can we lift a person heavier than ourselves by using a seesaw? How do levers reduce the force required to lift an object? What keeps spinning tops upright? How do spinning tops relate to figure skating and aeroplane navigation?

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with rotational motion and dynamics of rigid bodies, as well as with the concepts of angular velocity, acceleration and momentum, torque and the moment of inertia. Students will explore the analogies between linear and rotational motion and apply their knowledge to explain everyday phenomena.

Topics Covered

  1. Mass, inertia.
  2. Rotational motion.
  3. Linear, angular velocity.
  4. Linear, angular acceleration.
  5. Force – moment of force (torque).
  6. Equilibrium of rigid bodies.
  7. Moment of inertia.
  8. Linear Momentum – conservation of linear momentum.
  9. Angular momentum – conservation of angular momentum.
  10. Rotational form of Newton’s 2nd law.

Learning Objectives

Introduction to the fundamental concepts of classical mechanics (2nd grade of Gymnasium, 1st grade of and 2nd grade of Lyceum).
Introduction to the fundamental concepts of dynamics of rigid bodies (3rd grade of Lyceum).
Demonstration of complex concepts in a simple, interesting and fun way.
Develop critical thinking.
Enhance learning by having students predict the demonstration outcome before seeing it.
Establish the relationship between science and technology.
Recognize scientific and technological applications to everyday life.