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

Final Exam – Roadrunner

Posted on: June 18, 2008

Yes, I showed a five minute episode of a Roadrunner cartoon as part of my Physics final exam. The students were instructed to watch it through the first time and maybe jot some quick notes. They were shown the video a second time in order to have enough time to get their thoughts together.

Their task was to identify five principles of physics that are done either correctly or incorrectly in the cartoon. The students needed to identify the principle, explain or define it, then use an example from the cartoon and explain whether or not the cartoon got it right. If they got it wrong, they needed to explain what should have happened.

I actually had three videos, the first was the Apollo 15 video of an astronaut dropping a Falcon feather and a hammer on the surface of the moon. The astronaut says, “Mr. Galileo was correct” as the objects hit the surface of the moon at the same time. I wanted the students to tell me what Galileo was correct about. I got a lot of right answers, but I also got a lot of wrong ones.

The second video was a very old scene from Buck Rogers. I’m talking about the newsreel version, very old and dated. That particular segment didn’t go over as well, the kids didn’t see enough of what was wrong in the show. Let’s just say that I won’t be using that video segment next year.


1 Response to "Final Exam – Roadrunner"

This is my first visit to your site and I have found a partner in physics thought! This is how I open my first class of the year–watch a Roadrunner episode and have students identify the physics demonstrated (mainly the laws being violated) to open a discussion of the variety of topics to be covered during the year. I think including it on a final is a great idea!

I am thankful to have found your excellent resource. Thank you for sharing.

What do you think? Your opinion matters, leave a reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s New in 2013/2014?

Every year brings a change, this one is no exception.

I will be picking up the sophomore honors Algebra II class to keep them separate from the juniors. This should help accelerate them and put them on a stronger track towards Calculus. Looks like there will be only one section each of Physics and Calculus, but still two of Robotics & Engineering.

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.

Polls in the sidebar

Just a quick poll to help me understand who is stopping by my blog.

Yeah sure, lots from America, but look who else is here…

If you are badly in need of more email or for some reason jonesing for a physics fix, enter your email address so I can bother you with my newest rant on science.

Join 314 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 1,299,697 hits by nerds like me since June 1, 2008
June 2008
« May   Jul »
%d bloggers like this: