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Pre-Vocational Students Study Physics of Motion

Students Build Models to Learn about Reciprocating and Rotational Motion


Student smiling and turning the wheel on his tabletop model    the wooden tabletop model


The students in Glenn Ewald’s pre-vocational class at Westhampton Beach Learning Center recently built tabletop devices to demonstrate and better understand two types of motion that they studied in class – reciprocating and rotational. The pre-vocational program at the school strives to teach students simulated work activities, in addition to academics, which may help them to obtain entry-level employment in certain industries.


Two students using their model    group shot of the students and their teacher


During the lesson, Ewald explained what each type of motion is, how it moves, what it is used for by providing examples, and how devices utilizing those motions have impacted society. He then had his students use hand and power tools to build their own working, wooden models. Each model turned a crankshaft wheel (rotational motion), which moved a connecting rod up and down (reciprocating motion). This lesson provided students with an opportunity to use their skills to obtain a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter. Said Ewald, “A working model helped my students grasp these concepts. They had fun and now have a greater understanding of basic physics.”