Create stop-motion videos and learn physics

November 4th, 2007

Inspired by the most recent Sony Bravia commercial, I decided to have my physics students create stop-motion videos for a Halloween themed project.

Students were asked to create a video that:

  • was at least ten seconds
  • contained at least two seconds of constant acceleration
  • had a Halloween theme

I gave the students a handout with a time line, guidelines, rubric and some suggestions for a successful project. Students created the videos using Windows Movie Maker and uploaded them to Brightcove.tv (YouTube is blocked at our school). I used Jing to provide students with screencasts that explained how to use Movie Maker and Brightcove.tv.

After the videos were created, students used a video analysis program (LoggerPro) to analyze and confirm the acceleration.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I assigned this project but I was truly shocked by all of the amazing videos that my students produced.

Here is an example:

ARVE Error: no video ID set

See all the videos here.

3 Comments

  1. Tom Moulon 07 Nov 2007 at 7:41 am

    HI Dale,

    I really liked your videos. Very creative, and the type of thing that kids will undoubtedly remember for a long time after they’ve left high school. I am lucky enough to have the capability to do such a project in my classroom, and am thinking that perhaps I will do a “Christmas (or other winter holiday) theme”.

    I do have a question regarding your videos: The first two videos show an object with no net force (assuming that frictional forces are negligible) moving across the driveway and the floor. Yet the x-t graphs show accelerated motion. Was I not seeing the videos correctly? IF so, how did you deal with students who might have identified this as being inconsistent with Newton’s laws? Okay one more question: Was this done before or after you studied forces?
    Thanks for sharing these projects.
    Tom

  2. Dale Basleron 07 Nov 2007 at 6:29 pm

    Tom, good point. The first two videos show objects being struck once and then they speed up. We haven’t gotten to forces in class but I’m going to come back to these videos to show how Newton’s Laws were broken.

  3. Derekon 11 Nov 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Yo Dale. I love these videos. Great examples of PBL. When you get a chance, I’d love to have you share them with the Yahoo! For Teachers community in our Jumpcut group: http://www.jumpcut.com/Yahoo_Teachers?subnav=home_grps

    Good work!

    Derek

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