All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides
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USS Constitution, Johnson



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Cannon Ball Competition
Understanding the relationship between weight and force

To give students a sense for how technology expanded the reach of humankind, let them compare their own arm power to that of a cannon. Have students experiment with throwing objects of different weights, starting at 1/4 pound, to see if there is a relationship between weight and distance. Do they have to use more “arm power” to throw heavier objects? (Cannon use more gun powder.) See if they can hit a target at various distances using objects of the same weight.Loading Cannon(They will miss the target more often the farther away they move. The larger cannon were accurate to 1,200 yards, even though their ranges were twice as far. Many cannon balls ended up in the water!) To help students see the relationships, ask volunteers to measure distances and weights. Graph the results.


Have on Hand–
a tape measure and objects such as beanbags of various weights starting at 1/4 pound and up

 

 
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