Attention: Safety Recall of Vernier Go Direct Charge Station. Click to learn more.



Falling Objects

Experiment #16 from Exploring Physical Science

Education Level
Middle School


Galileo tried to prove that all falling objects accelerate downward at the same rate. Falling objects do accelerate downward at the same rate in a vacuum. Air resistance, however, can cause objects to fall at different rates in air. Air resistance enables a skydiver’s parachute to slow his or her fall. Because of air resistance, falling objects can reach a maximum velocity or terminal velocity. In this experiment, you will study the velocities of two different falling objects.


  • Use a Motion Detector to measure distance and velocity.
  • Produce position vs. time and velocity vs. time graphs.
  • Analyze and explain the results.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

Ready to Experiment?

Ask an Expert

Get answers to your questions about how to teach this experiment with our support team.

Purchase the Lab Book

This experiment is #16 of Exploring Physical Science. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

Learn More