The Secrets of Trapezes: Science Research Lessons on Pendulums


This video shows excerpts from two research lessons: the seventh and eighth lessons of a ten-lesson unit on pendulums taught to fifth graders. In prior lessons, students have created desktop “trapezes” and tried to make them swing at different speeds in order to transfer a paper-clip “acrobat” from one trapeze to the other. Because they could not do this reliably, the class chose to investigate three factors they thought influenced the time of the trapeze cycle: weight of the clay on each trapeze, the angle of release of the trapeze, and the length of the trapeze wire. In the two research lessons, students investigate and discuss these factors.


science, trapezes, fifth grade