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1 Bob Dent November 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

Dr. Sands: My 7 year old, 2nd grade daughter is a level 2 gymnasts and she asked us if she could enter the school science fair (not required for 2nd grade). Asking her to subject, she told me she wanted to learn about the “physics of gymnastic movements”. Well, from my non-science background I was astonished at her request and started to Google the idea. In the Level 2 vault, the gymnast runs to the springboard, blocks their arms down and back, hit the board, swing arms up overhead and perform a handstand to an elevated mat. I though that she could maybe prove Newton’s law of equal and opposite reaction by clocking her speed approach to the board and see if there is a correlation to the height she can gain off the board? My problem is really knowing enough to get her setup and how to measure the speed and distance in height using low-tech means, but with some degree of accuracy. I remember enough from school to be able to help her set up the hypothesis, and run the experiment, but I am seeking advice form you on how to do the measurements in a way that does not require any special equipment, but will still yield accurate results.
Both of my girls are interested in math and science, and while that is not my forte, I want to give them every opportunity to excel in this area.
I really appreciate your time and response,

Bob Dent
mrbdent@yahoo.com
Child: Jenna Grace Dent
2012/2013 Level 1 Mississippi State Champion
2013/2014 Level 2 Currently training and competing

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