Grade School Students Test Newton’s First Law

Heather Hosek’s sixth-grade class at Babylon Grade School investigated Newton’s First Law, the law of inertia, during a special experiment using clay crash-test dummies on Dec. 7.
The students created the dummies from clay and then used miniature cars and ramps to observe the distance objects fly from a car after impact. The experiment was an interactive, fun way to illustrate to the students the relationship between speed, distance, velocity, acceleration and gravity.
After formulating a hypothesis about the outcome of the experiment, the students sent their crash-test dummies flying down the ramps and observed the outcome. Using a stack of books, the students then tested the ramps at various inclines to see if the crash-test dummies would travel farther based on the height of the book stack. By the end of the experiment, students were able to identify and apply Newton’s First Law of Motion to daily life relating to vehicles. The investigation also reinforced the importance of wearing seat belts, and Babylon Grade School Principal Randee Bonagura added that the experiment was a great way for the school to take part in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.