Fantastic gymnastics!

  • Which force(s) make the gymnast move?
  • What keeps him moving?

Build Your Gymnast

  • Building instructions, pages 4 - 22

Try it out!

Experiment 1: No Ratchets

  • Pull the gymnast back 90 degrees (i.e. parallel with the table) and let him go.
  • Can you see a pattern? What is it?
  • Why does the gymnast move this way?

Experiment 2: Try the Forward Ratchet

  • Pull the gymnast back 90 degrees and let him go.
  • Measure the distance that the car travels and record it on the chart or in your notebook.
  • Now return the gymnast to his starting position and predict (p) how far the car will go if you pull the gymnast back as far as he can go. Use a LEGO® brick to mark where you think it will stop and record the actual distance (a) on the chart.

Experiment 3: No ratchets again, but let it rest against your hand!

  • Which of Newton’s 3 laws of motion can you observe here?

What did you find out?

  • Which forces did you observe?
  • What pattern did you observe?
  • Could you predict what would happen next?
  • Which force(s) slowed your gymnast down?
  • What could you change to make your car go even farther?