Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Newton's 1st Law: Hammer, Nails & Inertia - Newton's Law Expo (2 of 9) - Section 3: Student Activity


Inertia is a word that has very little meaning to my students. I teach inertia as a resistance to change. We discuss that if I were to suddenly require a stricter dress code in class, the students would resist this change. But the meaning doesn't translate to the physical world until the students can experience this lesson. The bricks have a lot of mass and therefore have a lot of inertia. Since the massive bricks sit on top of a student's head it absorbs the strikes of the hammer. I've had success having my students think of inertia as a sort of absorbing force that every particle of matter has. The more mass an object has, the greater its absorbing force is.

  Demonstrating the power of inertia
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Demonstrating the power of inertia
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Newton's 1st Law: Hammer, Nails & Inertia - Newton's Law Expo (2 of 9)

Unit 6: Forces
Lesson 2 of 12

Objective: Students will be able to test Newton's 1st Law using a hammer and nails.

Big Idea: Experiencing Newton's Laws of Motion is better than reading about it in a book.

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2 hammer nail activity cover photo
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