The Portal Problem

A while ago someone sent me a link to this video: No Escape

This video is based upon the video game Portal. The best part of the video itself is the part where the lady escapes by jumping off the building and then launching herself to the next building.

How do I incorporate this into my class? Well the first thing I do is wait until we have fully discussed projectile motion. After having solved many homework problems, set up and solved things like the Monkey Gun, or Mini Pasco Cannon shots, I open class up by just saying we are going to watch a video.

When it’s done, the kids immediately react to the afore mentioned fall/launch across the buildings. That’s when I tell them to figure out how tall the first building is, how tall the second building is, and how far apart they are.

The only measurements that the students can take are how long it takes the lady to fall from the first building to the portal on the ground, and the portal on the building to the other building. Using those times, and the gravity constant, they can answer all questions.

The few times I’ve used or shared the problem with colleagues, it has always gotten rave reviews. It is a cool video, and a fun problem to solve.