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Lesson 1: Forces

+10 XP
1 Hour
For Educators
In this tutorial, you will learn about how forces interact to produce projectile motion of a cannonball as it is launched from a catapult. You will begin by opening the Unity editor and downloading the project assets by following the included link. When you have the assets loaded and configured, you will start lesson one and begin working through the included steps. By changing the sliders that control your cannonball’s mass and the spring force of your catapult, you will watch how the forces applied by a catapult affect the arc and speed of a projectile. Using the data set you collect from the launch; you will calculate the acceleration of your cannonball. Once you are finished with the lesson activity, you will move on to the target free play section and experiment with mass and force until you are able to hit the center of a target.
You will be able to explain the relationship between the forces applied to a cannonball, the mass of the ball, and the ball’s acceleration. Using what you've learned, you will find the optimal mass and force settings needed to hit the bullseye on a target.
Learning Objectives:
By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
  • Adjust the mass of the cannonball being launched from a catapult.
  • Adjust the force applied to a cannonball by a catapult.
  • Understand the relationship between a force applied to a cannonball and its velocity.
  • Understand the relationship between a force applied to a cannonball and the distance it travels.
  • Use the velocity calculated in the Unity editor to determine the acceleration of a cannonball at different points in its arc.
*Note: Follow along in the worksheet that can be found under Tutorial Materials. This is also where you can find other important resources like the Formulas and More page.
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Last updated: February 05, 2024
Lesson 1: Forces