To understand Isaac Newton’s 1st Law of Motion, while visually seeing the effect of gravity on a moving object. Create a pattern using a spherical pendulum and predict how variables will change the look of the painting.
Start by discussing Newton’s 1st Law of Motion. Assemble the pendulum and ask students to predict what pattern it will make and what variables could affect it.
- Find a place to hang your pendulum string so that it is just above a flat surface with a string between 8 and 12 inches long.
- Tie washer to your string.
- Bend paperclip into a “W” shape and slip it onto the washer.
- Poke a little hole in the bottom of a paper cup with a pencil.
- Poke a hole on each side of the top of the cup and slip the paper clip through the holes to make a bucket on your pendulum.
- Holding a finger over the hole on the bottom of the cup, grasp the cup and pour a bit of paint in the cup – it should be the consistency of ink.
- When releasing your cup, aim it at a slight curve so that it will travel in a circular direction.
- Once finished, keep the painting flat while drying.
- Plan out a picture to integrate with your spiral background using a cut-out of a drawing or a stencil to trace onto your paper in pencil. Trace with Sharpie for a bold outline.
- Paint in shapes and parts of the background to complete a colorful, complete work of art.
Note: If you have painted with acrylic-based paints, using water color over the paint will not disturb your spirals. If you have used tempera or other non-permanent paint, take care to go around the lines so they do not blur.