While I originally found clips from the following documentary on a Youtube video called "People are Awesome 2013", I had to save it for later to figure out how to download it and save it because of the constraint that Youtube is blocked at my school.
The video itself is great because it demonstrates a lot of great physics:
1) Bikers jumping over canyons, cyclists jumping off cliffs into lakes, a dirt car jumping over another dirt car: Projectile Motion. They even have a clip where a skater has his image taken every few frames so that you can see the parabola.
2) People doing flips on a bicycle (3:56): Center of Gravity.
3) Tight Rope walker walking between two moving 18 wheelers before heading into a tunnel (2:06): Moment of Inertia.
4) Skier jumping off icy slope and gliding away with a parachute (6:30): coefficient of friction-waxed skis on snow.
5) Man rolling downhill with inline skates attached to his body (7:05): drag.
6) But I was really interested in one segment where a man was gliding through the air like a flying squirrel (0:23) because aside from demonstrating drag and free fall, I thought that it was great a demonstrating frames of reference and relativity.
In my classroom, we use Paul G Hewitt's book: Conceptual Physics: the High School Program. The book does a great job of making the students think critically about physics. In chapter 4, Hewitt says an object is in motion if its position relative to a fixed point is changing. One question that he asks that always seems to stump my students: How can you be at rest and at the same time be moving at 100,000 km/h?
This is simple when you think about different reference frames. Relative to the Earth, you are at rest. Relative to the Sun, you are moving at 100,000 km/h.
*When I talk to my English Language Learners, I always ALSO say, "Compared to the Earth, you are at rest. Compared to the Sun, you are moving at 100,000 km/h." That word exchange seems to crystallize the answer in their head better.*
Anyways, back to the wingsuit gliders/base jumpers. The camera shows the glider from the perspective of the glider and the whole ride seems to be very slow. You wouldn't have any idea of how fast he was really going until you see him from the perspective of someone on the ground. The glider passes a passenger on the ground and then you really see that he is moving at over 100 miles per hour.
When he is flying through the air, it's tough to see how fast he is moving because we are looking down with a bird's eye view and we aren't measuring him/her from a fixed position. When we see him from the ground, you have a point of reference, an "origin" from where you can measure him.
My boyfriend was watching this documentary, however, and I saw the exact same clip! Now I didn't have to go through the trouble of downloading and saving.
Title: BIrdmen: The Original Dream of Flight
Run Time: 52 min
Closed Captioning: Yes, if streamed through Netflix.
Cost: Free, if streamed through Netflix. $2.99, if purchased through their website.
Kelly Garcia teaches physics in New York City to Latino students using a humourous and hands-on approach. She manages to circumvent the boredom of test-prep with thoughtful and creative projects.