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The problem

Initial Velocity

The Problem

Our modern world increasingly consumes entertainment through TV and movies which commonly involve using people or other things flying through the air. How do we ensure that these stunts are safe and successful the first time, when mistakes could lead to serious injury or death?

Stunt Design

Producer Aaron Debbink


LocationOak Hills High School

The Challenge

Use the physics of projectiles to design a stunt for a TV show or Hollywood movie that involves something or someone launched through the air.

Unit Sequence

(Day 5 & 6) Horizontal Projectile Lab Practicum.

> Students must use the physics they have learned to predict the landing location of an object launched from a given height.

(Day 1 & 2) Video Analysis of Projectile Motion.

> Logger Pro software

> Homework: Worksheet 1 (Practice with the acceleration of gravity)


Product: Presentation

Description of movie or TV show involving the stunt.

Detailed description of the stunt / motion

Quantitative diagram of stunt or motion of object.

Explanation of physics calculations used to design the student / motion of the object.

  • Guiding Questions

  • How do we model the motion of objects flying through the air?

  • How can we predict how far something will travel through the air?

  • How much time does it take for something to hit the ground?

  • How fast must something be moving to land at a specific location?

(Day 3 &4) Horizontal Projectiles

> Notes and homework (WK2)

(Day 5) Students present homework solutions using white boards to the class.

(Day 7 & 8) Class time to work on Google Presentation.

(Day 9) Final Presentations of Stunt Designs. (4 – 6 min each)

ax = 0m/s/s

ay = -10m/s/s



CEEMSis supported by the National Science Foundation grant # 1102990.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.