Education Technology

Terminal Velocity

Updated on 03/28/2014

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will define terminal velocity and analyze the relationship between mass and terminal velocity.


  • Students will observe that when you drop an object, it accelerates due to gravity.
  • Students will observe that its speed increases due to gravitational acceleration.
  • Students will observe that as an object drops, the wind pushes in the opposite direction, slowing it down.
  • Students will observe that when wind resistance equals the downward force of gravity, there are no net forces acting on the object.

About the Lesson

In this experiment, students will explore the idea of terminal velocity.

As a result students will:

  • Understand what is terminal velocity.
  • Learn what causes terminal velocity.
  • Determine if there is a maximum speed for all objects.