Dropping a slinky from the ceiling

I’m running a 3d print for tomorrow’s project that’s going to take most of the day, so I wasn’t sure what we’d do for a project today. Then the boys and a few of their friends started playing with a slinky and I remembered a fun little experiment with a slinky.

What happens when you drop an uncoiled slinky from the ceiling?

here’s a closer look at the moment my son releases the slinky:

Here’s a second drop in which we zoom in on the bottom of the slinky:

Finally, here’s the 10x slo mo for that drop:

After the drops we talked about what was going on. I think this is a hard one for kids to understand, but they had some interesting ideas. To test some of those ideas we dropped an eraser from the ceiling at the same time that we dropped the slinky and saw which hit the ground first. Then we did the same thing dropping the eraser from the bottom of the slinky to see which one hit first.

Fun little morning of experiments!