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Makerspace 3 - Zipline

So it's really fun to break things. It's also fun to experiment....and it's always cool to learn new things. Why not do that all at the same time?! In this science experiment we are going to build a zipline in our backyard. Or front room!! We've built this same zipline in our front room before and it's great for delivering snacks from the kitchen to the couch. But for this experiment, we want to reach maximum velocity so we are using the backyard. Plus it's really nice out.

Odd Fact: Bedroom and Bathroom are all one word but Front room and/or Living room are two!!

Here is our video. There is a lot of fun going on with some science sprinkled in. I hope you all have time to build one and test out different variables. I'll post more of the science below.

To build your own zipline, here is what you'll need: String, Pulley or Carabiner, toys, a notebook, a high end, a low end, and I would say at least 30 feet of distance. Certainly a video camera. To be more scientific for optimal measuring it would be nice to have a metric mass set or small measurable weights of some kind (MASS), a stop watch (TIME), a protractor (ANGLE)....for this experiment let's keep the distance constant.

Scientist Note #1 - Only change 1 variable at a time. Don't change two or you'll never know which variable had the greater effect on change. Do a test, make a change, record data, do a test, make a change, record data, etc....As you can see we didn't record time. Please take good notes and also don't forget to record your hypothesis for each test as well.

Scientist Note #2 - Build multiple ziplines and use different thickness's of string. Or different materials to create friction. How will that affect your speed?

Exercise #1 - Read through Newton's three laws and write down which one's can be applied to your zipline and how.


Law 1 - an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an outside force.

Law 2 - the acceleration of an object is dependent upon two variables - the net force acting upon the object and the mass of the object. F=MA

Law 3 - for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Exercise #2 - Build your own zipline, test it out, record your data, have some fun!!

FUN TIP #1 - Have everyone in your house build their own zipline and construct their own toys for a family friendly zipline race.

Newton Notes:

- Spiderman will not move until you release him or push him

- Pushing your object would be considered a force. You are the force pushing it.

- Your object hitting another object (trampoline pole) is considered a force

- Pushing your object with more/less force will change the acceleration/speed/velocity

- Adding more weight will create more mass thus increasing the force

- Changing the angle will either reduce or increase the A (Acceleration)

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