In this activity, students are asked to understand the first law of motion, which states that an object will travel at a constant velocity unless it is acted upon by an unbalanced force. They should consider the forces that a fan exerts, including its position, velocity, and acceleration, to solve the problem.
The Fan Cart Physics Gizmo is a great tool for teaching Newton’s laws. The student must be able to use the tool to demonstrate the change in velocity of a fan. They can also use this activity to visualize what happens when a fan is turned on and off.
To complete this activity, students must use a data table to record the data collected during the experiment. They should also understand the newton (N), which is the amount of force needed to accelerate a kilogram at one meter per second. Each fan supplies a force of two newtons. The student can then use Newton’s second law to find the acceleration of the cart and the weight of the fan.
Similarly, changing the mass of the cart will affect its acceleration. The more mass it has, the slower it will accelerate. The same thing applies to changing the number of fans on the cart. The number of fans will determine the speed at which the cart accelerates.