This Main Lesson focused on the end of the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the scientific revolution and the beginnings of modern science as a means of understanding the physical world. We focused on the lives and work of Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and their contemporaries in the 16th and 17th centuries. We engaged in a very hands-on experience to explore motion, gravity and force in its many forms. Topics covered included: Galileo's study of motion and pendulums, the acceleration of gravity, Newton's 3 laws of force, momentum and its conservation, and Newton's derivation of the universal law of gravity using Kepler's laws of planetary motion substituted into the equation for centripetal force. During the 3rd week of this 4-week block, the class went on a field trip to the Exploratorium in San Francisco where they were tasked with finding a number of specific exhibits in the museum that demonstrated concepts that they were studying in class. The block concluded with a project to build and demonstrate either a projectile launcher or a balsam wood bridge, and to journal the process as well as the result as an active learning experience of static and dynamic forces.
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