Friday, 8 March 2013

Circus investigation number 3: The tight rope

In our final investigation we wanted to find out which would be the best type of rope to do a tight rope walk on.  With all the work we'd been doing on forces and motion, we've learnt about pushing, pulling, twisting, sliding, gravity, motion and friction.

As it would be too difficult and dangerous to do tight rope walking in school, we did an investigation with balloon rockets to find out which type of rope caused the most friction, and would therefore be easier to grip on to with your feet.

As with all our investigations we made predictions.  This time it was really difficult.  There was coarse white string that we use in class, some fuzzy wool, and some really smooth cotton. A lot of us predicted that the fuzzy wool would provide the greatest friction.

"I think the wool because it has got all bits of it"
"the wull bicoz its reely tickly"

However... when we tested it out we found out something completely different!
The first rocket in this video is the coarse string, and the second is the wool.

As you can see, the balloon rocket on the wool shot all the way to the end, because there was less friction affecting the motion of the rocket.  The air pushed the rocket all the way along the wool.  However the coarse string caused that much friction that it slowed the balloon rocket down and made it stop at about half way.

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