BRTC science instructor Justin Stewart used the BRTC fire tower to engage students in practical experiments and demonstrate Italian scientist Galileo Galilei’s terminal velocity, the four forces of flight, and the three laws of motion equations.
Utilizing the BRTC fire tower on the Pocahontas campus, Instructor Stewart and his students dropped various objects from the three exterior platforms to obtain measurements. They discussed how to use time to calculate the actual acceleration of each object and the known average acceleration to determine the heights of the platforms. “We were measuring total free fall time,” said Stewart, “but using Galileo’s equation we were able to measure the height that the objects fell.”
Stewart explained to students how these calculations could be used in a variety of ways in their everyday lives. “I actually had a student go skydiving the weekend prior to this experiment and he knew the altitude that they jumped from,” said Stewart, “so we used that information to calculate the rate at which he was falling, until he reached terminal velocity.”
For more information about BRTC’s science or general education programs, contact Donna Statler at 870-248-4000 or [email protected].