Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Hoverpuck – Must Have

Posted on: June 6, 2008


Hoverpuck

Have you seen one of these? It’s a small, battery powered hovercar in the shape of a large hockey puck. It’s only about six or eight inches across. When I’m teaching Newton’s 1st law, I take these out (I have three of them) and I launch them around the room. I let the kids play, kicking it around. Usually we take it into the hallway and see if we can make it all the way to the office from my room. After I get them back in their seat and on task, we review the concept of a inertia and the need for a force to change the puck’s directions.

I haven’t done this yet, but I’d like to show some video of a hovercraft and how difficult it is to make them turn.  Actually, I’d love to build one someday.   Something to keep in mind for a future lesson.

NOTE: The hoverpuck I purchased from the supply company uses a rechargeable battery.  I don’t know how well it’s going to work next year.  I just saw them at a local store called “$5 and Below” and it uses regular AA batteries.  I think over the long haul, that is a better idea.  I don’t expect the rechargeables to be working in a year or two.

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Hot topics this year are going to be the Common-Core Standards, Standards-Based Grading (SBG), improving AP Calculus scores, and somehow adding Python, maybe as a club.

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