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Pole vault

How do pole vault jumpers jump so high?

Nível :

High school



Pole vault jumping is one of the most complex sport on which to conduct a biomechanics analysis. Using a video and the kinetics module of FizziQ, students are able to study the movement of the athlete, identify the various phases, apply the various the laws of mechanics to understand how the athlete takes off and why they jump so high. This analysis will make them understand the difficulty of this sport, and they will be able to make suggestions for the athlete to improve their performance.

➡️ Retrouve cette activité dans le Catalogue d'activités de l'application FizziQ
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To carry out this experiment, the student will use the FizziQ kinematics tool to analyze the movement of a pole vaulter from a video available in the FizziQ video library.

The activity protocol is the following for the student :

1. Open the Pole Vault video in FizziQ's Kinematics tool

2. Scale the video then between the different positions of the athlete

3. Which part of the body did you choose? Is this choice important in the analysis?

4. Study the trajectory of the athlete in your notebook, can you identify the different stages of the movement? Going back to the video, can you identify the moments of: the stop, the reversal, the recovery, the release and the climax?

5. Add the athlete's speeds Vx and Vy to your notebook, can you identify on the Vx graph the moment of the stop and that of the release?

6. On the graph giving Vy, can you determine the moment of the apogee and the moment when the pole is relaxed?

7. Add to your notebook the potential and kinetic energy, you will assume that the athlete weighs 55 kg and that the weight of the pole is negligible

8. Is mechanical energy conserved? Where does this energy go?

9. Can you estimate the maximum energy stored in the pole?

10. Comparing the initial and final mechanical energy, do you think that additional energy was added by the athlete to the system?

11. Can you estimate this additional energy?

12. What movements did the athlete make that may have added this energy? When ?

13. What do you think of the complexity of the movement that the athlete must do during a pole vault?

14. Document your analysis by adding text and photos and share it!

To find out how to use FizziQ's kinematics analysis module :

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