Cannon Recoil (Phenomenon)

Contributor
jwellsgnr (YouTube user)
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon , Animation/Movie
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This two-minute video shows the phenomenon of a cannonball being fired from a cannon and the cannon rolling backwards as it is fired. 

This phenomenon could stimulate the following driving questions:

  • Why does the cannon move backwards when the cannon is fired?
  • Why is the cannon on wheels?
  • What causes the cannonball to fly out of the cannon?
  • What would happen if the cannon couldn't roll backwards?

Intended Audience

Learner
Educational Level
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

- none -

Performance Expectations

MS-PS2-1 Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

Clarification Statement: Examples of practical problems could include the impact of collisions between two cars, between a car and stationary objects, and between a meteor and a space vehicle.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to vertical or horizontal interactions in one dimension.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This phenomenon could to help students develop an understanding of Newton’s third law, which deals with the idea that when one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal force on the first object, but in the opposite direction. This concept is contained within one of the disciplinary core ideas for this performance expectation, and therefore this resource can be used to build towards the performance expectation.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students watching the video will notice that the cannon rolls back a significant amount when it is fired which can lead them to wonder why it does that.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students probably know that when a cannon is fired, the cannonball goes flying out of the cannon. They may not be aware that as the cannon is fired, it recoils in the opposite direction. An explanation of this phenomenon requires an understanding of Newton’s third law, which deals with the idea that when one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal force on the first object, but in the opposite direction. Showing this video to students and asking them to explain why the cannon recoils can be one of several phenomena to help them develop this understanding.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
As students observe this phenomenon and others like it, they can be encouraged to look for patterns in their observations. Some patterns they might notice include that the cannon recoils whenever it is fired, larger amounts of gunpowder lead to greater recoil, larger cannonballs lead to greater recoil, and larger cannons recoil less. Any of these relationships may help them see the cause and effect relationship between the size of the push on the cannonball and the size of the push on the cannon.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Not Applicable

  • Instructional Supports: Not Applicable

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Not Applicable

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Not Applicable