Education Technology

Projectile Trajectories

Published on 07/16/2011

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will simulate projectile trajectories, neglecting air resistance.

Objectives

  • Students will explore factors affecting the trajectory taken by a projectile (ignoring air resistance).
  • Students will observe and compare horizontal and vertical velocity components as the projectile travels along its trajectory.
  • Students will observe maximum range values and determine the optimum launch angle.
  • Students will observe the effect of an elevated landing area on the range of a projectile.

Vocabulary

  • apex
  • parametric equations
  • projectile
  • projectile range
  • trajectory
  • vector components

About the Lesson

This lesson simulates projectile trajectories, neglecting air resistance.
This is a conceptual activity and as a result, students will:

  • Observe the connections between launch speed, launch angle, and vertical and horizontal velocity components.
  • Observe how a trajectory changes as the initial launch conditions change.
  • Determine a maximum range and optimum launch angle.
  • Explore the effect of an elevated landing area on range and optimum launch angle.

This activity was created using Lua. Learn more about Lua in TI-Nspire here.