How high can you swing on a flying trapeze?

# How high can you swing on a flying trapeze?

Lesson narration:
Scroll for prep
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Discuss:
How are these two things SIMILAR? How are they DIFFERENT?
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Discuss:

How did you know where the swing was going to swing next?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Discuss:

How can you figure out how a trapeze artist will swing in different situations, without practicing on a real trapeze?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
01/21
You’ll work with a partner.
Decide who will be Acrobat and who will be Performer.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
02/21
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
03/21
Acrobat: Lay the ruler on your desk.
Performer: Place a pencil at each end of the ruler with the erasers
facing toward you.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
04/21
Acrobat: Pull one pencil so that it is hanging off the desk a bit.
Performer: Add one sticker to the end of the pencil. Add another
sticker near the edge of the desk. Add a heavy book.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
05/21
Both: Get one piece of string and one of the binder clips. Push the
string through the loops of the binder clip. Hold it up so it looks like a
swing.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
06/21
Acrobat: Drape the string ends over one of the pencils, leaving space
between the two string ends. Performer: Get another binder clip
and clip it over the string and the pencil.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
07/21
Both: Add one penny to the binder clip at the bottom of each
trapeze.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
08/21
Take a seat on the floor so that you can observe your model trapeze
more clearly. Check to make sure your trapeze model looks just like
ours.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
09/21
Both: Practice gently releasing your model trapeze.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
10/21
Experiment #1: Height. Try releasing the trapeze from different
heights. Try at least one high release and one low release. What do
you notice about how high it reaches on the other side?
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
11a/21
Discuss.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
11b/21
Here’s what we noticed.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
12/21
Experiment #2: Length of String. Does the length of the string
change how the trapeze moves? Work with your partner to make the
string of one trapeze about half the length of the other trapeze.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
13a/21
Both: Make observations of your two trapezes. Watch carefully for
any differences or similarities in how they move.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
13b/21
Let’s try using a timer to help us count and measure how fast each
trapeze is moving. When I say “Start,” count the number of swings
that you see in this animation until I say “Stop.”
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
14/21
Count how many times the trapeze with the long string swings
in 10 seconds. Record that number on your worksheet.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
15/21
Count how many times the trapeze with the short string swings
in 10 seconds. Record that number on your worksheet.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
16a/21
Discuss and make a prediction with your partner.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
16b/21
Here’s what we noticed.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
17/21
Experiment #3: Number of People (or Pennies). Does the number of
pennies change how the trapeze moves? Decide with your partner
two numbers of pennies that you will compare to one another.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
18/21
Add the number of pennies that you decided to test first to your
binder clip. Count the number of swings that you see in 10 seconds.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
19/21
Adjust the number of pennies in the binder clip of your trapeze.
Count the number of swings that you see in 10 seconds.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
20a/21
Discuss and make a prediction with your partner.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
20b/21
Here’s what we noticed.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Step
21/21
Work with your partner to clean up. Then, go ahead and take a seat.
Discuss.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Discuss:

What force do you think made your tiny trapeze start swinging when you let go?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Discuss:
What do you think could be making this swing slow down and stop?
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# push

1 of 9

to move an object away from you
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# pull

2 of 9

to move an object toward you
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

3 of 9

a push or a pull
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# motion

4 of 9

a change in the position of an object
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# gravity

5 of 9

an invisible force that pulls any object down, toward the Earth
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# friction

6 of 9

an invisible force that resists the motion of an object
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# predict

7 of 9

to guess what will happen based on things you know
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# pattern

8 of 9

something that happens again and again and again in a way that can be predicted
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

# model

9 of 9

a pretend version of something that scientists use when the real thing is too big, small, or complicated to work with
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Lesson narration:

# Activity Prep

Print Prep

THIS LESSON WAS REVISED ON JUNE 1, 2023. Here is a link to the previous version.
In this lesson, students investigate the patterns of motion exhibited by a trapeze. In the activity, Trapeze Tester, students build a model trapeze. They make observations and take measurements of the motion of that model and use that data to predict the motion of a real trapeze.

Preview activity
Exploration

#### 10 mins

Hands-On Activity

Wrap-Up