Day 93 – Projectile Crime Scenes

Physics 11 – I pulled out an activity that I haven’t used for a few years, the ol’ Projectile Crime Scene.  Students are given one of three crime scenes to investigate.  Above you see the Hotel Jumper, where students use a scaled model/drawing of the hotel and where he landed.  The idea is that they will use the height to find fall time, and then horizontal distance and time to find the horizontal speed. From this, they use data tables on men walking and running speed to see if the man was pushed out of the window or if he ran and jumped in an attempt to land in a pool below.

The other two activities are very similar, they all involve a horizontal launch projectile where students need to find a horizontal speed.  These are engaging tasks but also very difficult because of the extra cognitive load placed on the students.  In the hotel jumper, the students need to deal with a scaled model.  In the Gangster Shooting, the problem involves a bit of math and reasoning to make a proper sketch of the crime scene. Road Rage involves some kinematics and acceleration prior to the projectile part.

Despite the difficulties, I believe it’s a good task to do. Perhaps it would be better if more practice was spent on projectiles. Or, despite it being a horizontal launch problem, it might be better suited to Physics 12.

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