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Name: Rigel
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Question:
What are some examples of air resistance for a 1st grader?



Replies:
Oh boy. Many of the really good ones involve experiences today's children may not get!

For example:

The pressure of air on your hand as you hold it outside the window of a moving car. A falling leaf or leaves being blown across the lawn. The force you feel when walking into the wind.

I suggest you use the tried and true demonstration of dropping a book and a lightly crumpled piece of paper simultaneously. The book gets to the floor first, of course, because air resistance holds up the paper.

Then, place the paper on the upper side of the book and do the drop. Protected from the air resistance by the book, the paper sits atop the book during the whole drop and both paper and book reach the ground simultaneously.

This works best with a large book, such as a standard textbook, and when the book is held with covers parallel to the ground.

Hopes this helps.

Bob Avakian
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology


Maybe the most intuitive examples would be where the child can feel the force (resistance) being exerted by the air. You can feel the wind when you are riding a bike, or when you put your hand out a car window while it is moving.

You might take the students outside on a windy day, or use a fan, and then given them objects of different shapes to feel how shape affects wind resistance -- for example let them feel the difference with the same rigid piece of cardboard help with its face perpendicular to the wind, or held with its edge facing the wind.

It is important to use the same object held in different orientations so that the students realize it is not mass or weight that is involved.

Hope this helps,

Burr Zimmerman



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