Teacher Notes

The Physics of Skateboarding

Created by: 
Ken Workman
Capistrano Unified

URL: http://www.can-do.com/uci/lessons99/skateboard.html
URL:  http://www-sci.lib.uci.edu/SEP/CTS99/skateboard.html

For students to observe/learn skateboard tricks and relate those movements to the following Physics Concepts: Newton's 3 laws, gravity, momentum, trajectory projectiles, circular motion, and friction (four types: rolling, sliding, static and air resistance).  Students will use hyperlinks to learn about Physic Concepts and skateboard tricks.  These hyperlinks are colored purple and underlined. They contain text, pictures and video clips.  You need to have QuickTime.  If you have a phone modem for your internet connection, you will need patience when looking at the pictures or video. 
(This will take about 15 seconds with a fast connection and about 3 to 4 minutes with a dial-up connection.)  This lesson is based on material from the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California.

Your first stop is Physics hyperlinks / Resources. 
Resources needed for task 1:
Newton's 1st, 2nd and 3rd Laws
Circular motion


Your First Task #1:  You need to define or explain in your own words on your own paper 
        the following 11 Physics Concepts.

1)  Newton's 1st law
2)  Newton's 2nd law
3)  Newton's 3rd law
4)  Gravity
5)  Momentum
6)  Circular Motion
7)  Trajectory
8)  Rolling Friction
9)  Sliding Friction
10) Static Friction
11) Air Resistance Friction

Your second stop is Skateboarding hyperlinks 

Resources/hyperlinks needed for task 2:
Skateboard information
T.Hawk-1/2pipe video clips

Your Second Task # 2:

You are going to use the above skateboarding hyperlinks to learn and see skateboard
tricks through text, pictures and video. 
Next, you have to explain how the skateboard tricks relate to Physics Concepts. 
You have to do three skateboard trick explanations per Physics Concept.  You will use the following format below.

Below is an example,  a picture/example is worth a thousand words.
Physics concept Skateboard Trick Explanation of Trick 
1) Newton's 1st law (1a) Canyon Jump Ollie (1a) Skater will keep moving forward as long as he is not acted upon by an outside force 
(e.g. concrete wall)
  (1b) Chair Nollie (1b) Skater will keep moving forward as long as he is not acted upon by an outside force 
(e.g. small chair)
  (1c) Half pipe drop in  (1c) Skater will not move or continue to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force 
(e.g. Gravity pulling him down)


Quick Links - Select and click "Go"

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E-Mail: kworkman57@hotmail.com
Last Updated August 10, 1999