Phun Gravity Simulator
When I was in middle school, one of my projects that I had to make in 8th grade science was to build a simple machines track using pulleys, inclined planes, and wedges. I am teaching simple machines to my 8th grade engineering class and not only am I including K’Nex hands-on projects, but integrating Phun software as part of their design process. The Phun physics program lets students design objects in 2D and lets gravity act upon the objects when an action button is clicked. The students are designing a simple machines track on the program and it has stumped many of my students. They are working very hard redesigning and improving their drawings. My eighth graders are learning quickly that sometimes drawings cannot account for the many issues of real gravity applications. Without a doubt, my students are learning Newton’s Laws of Motion authentically. Who needs books?