Introduction to Work and Energy: The Hopper Popper Surprise
This activity is designed to provide qualitative understanding of the Work-Energy Theorem. Students are expected to have read introductory material regarding the theorem, and are tested on this with a short online quiz prior to class. After a brief discussion a "warm-up" demonstration is conducted with student participation. A question is then posed regarding the height a "Hopper Popper" will reach if launched from a thumb instead of a hard flat surface. After initial responses are presented, discussion groups are formed to achieve consensus and provide justification of conclusions. This is followed by a confirming demonstration with surprising results.