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Kung Fu Physics

Description

Using martial arts to explore physics, Year 9 pupils investigate energy and forces to see if theoretically they could break a piece of wood with a punch, in a fun idea to use in lesson planning.

Physics teacher Dan Hannard splits the lesson up into two stages. First the Key Stage 3 pupils must work out the energy required to break a board, by dropping 1kg masses onto the wood from increasing heights until it breaks.

Secondly they must work out the kinetic energy of their punch, using a vertical ticker timer and tape to calculate the speed of their strike. They can then compare whether they could in theory break the wood.

Dan, a black belt in kung fu, and a physics teacher at Woodkirk High School, successfully translates his hobby into a noisy and fun teaching and learning experience.

Part of the series: Great Secondary Lesson Ideas

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