Once your sides have stopped hurting from laughing so hard at that Grade A, world-class pun of a title, you’ll find that this Demo Science science demo will help your students understand how both gravity and hypotheses work.
Dropping Stuff for Science
This experiment requires naught but a sheet of paper, crumpled into a ball; a shoe; and a chair, table, or desk you can safely stand on. If you choose to ignore the “safely” part in there, don’t come running to me when you fall off and break your legs. (<– YIKES!)
Stand on your chosen platform with your paper ball in one hand and your shoe in the other. If you’re using one of your own shoes, be sure to remove your foot first. Ask your student to hypothesize as to which object will hit the ground first when you drop them. Let them discuss among themselves and explain their reasoning. Then, tell them to observe very closely (maybe designate an “official” landing observer—NOT Kevin!), hold both items out in front of you at shoulder height and drop ‘em.
What happened? Did the results match your students’ hypotheses? Is your shoeless foot cold?
Physics Wins Again
Both objects will hit the floor at (essentially) the same time. How is that possible? The shoe is clearly heavier than the ball of paper. Well kids, it’s because the weight of an object does not actually influence the speed at which it falls. That speed is a constant for literally everything—roughly 9.81 meters per squared second.
What does influence an object’s fall speed is its shape. Had you not crumpled the paper into a ball before dropping it, it would have fallen much slower. Air would hit its underside, creating friction which would slow it down.
To better demonstrate these concepts, and/or just because it’s kind of fun to drop stuff off a table, you can repeat the experiment with a variety of disparate objects. If you’re going for Round 2, I highly recommend using a bowling ball and a ham sandwich.