Terminal Velocity


Cameron Pittman, Teacher

School / Organization, City and State / Province
Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, TN

Grade Level

Standards Met
Physics Standards:
Friction, Air Resistance.

Next Generation Science Standards:
HS.PS-FM Forces and Motion, performance standards (a) Plan and carry out investigations to show that the algebraic formulation of Newton’s second law of motion accurately predicts the relationship between the net force on macroscopic objects, their mass, and acceleration and the resulting change in motion.
Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations and designing solutions, Developing and using models.

ACT Standards:
Interpretation of Data – Translate information into a table, graph, or diagram (20-23), Determine how the value of one variable changes as the value of another variable changes in a complex data presentation (20-23).
Scientific Investigation – Predict the results of an additional trial or measurement in an experiment (24-27).

Time Needed
60 minutes.


  • Demonstrate the effects of air resistance on terminal velocity.

Students will be building a simple experiment to compare the terminal velocity of a cube and Chell. Lesson includes a brief investigation into the math behind air resistance and terminal velocity.

Terminal Velocity, Friction, Air Resistance, Forces, Free Fall.

Student Prerequisites
Velocity, Friction, Forces.

Teacher Materials Needed

Student Materials Needed

Lesson Plan
Download Terminal Velocity