One of the beautiful things about Angry Birds is that it’s all about basic mechanics. Parabola, arcs, gravity, force and acceleration. It’s all there. It would make for a great teaching tool if you’d let it be, and one Atlanta teacher has decided to make it one.
After all, you can easily apply some scale to an Angry Birds map, draw a force diagram, and come up with how hard you’d have to fling a bird to get one as far as you fling them in Angry Birds:
“What are the laws of physics in the Angry Birds world?” John Burk, a ninth-grade physics teacher at the private Westminster Schools in Atlanta, put that question to his students and gave them the chance to “be among the first to find the answer.” Burk became interested in using Angry Birds in the classroom last winter, and began blogging about teaching with it. Given that the birds are catapulted into the sky, it was the perfect tool for teaching students the laws of projectile motion. In about 30 minutes, the teens were able to thoroughly understand, as Burk wrote on his blog, “the two big ideas of projectile motion: the horizontal component of motion is constant velocity, while the vertical component is constant acceleration.”
Honestly, if Angry Birds were available as a teaching tool when I was in high school, or even when I was an undergrad studying Physics, it would have been wonderful. Thankfully a new generation of potential physicists will have the opportunity to learn at the side of a bright, red, angry bird.