Monday, September 26, 2011

Science Mondays: The Garden Cart Disaster

Garden Cart by Carts Vermont

So, I have a garden cart at work (like the one imaged) and a student was using it to deliver some plants donated by a staff member.  Another student volunteered to return the empty and started in that direction pulling the cart behind him as I followed him.  A student called my name and I kept walking as I turned my head.  The student pulling the cart stopped and without looking pushed on the cart to take a different route to the tool shed.  I fell to the ground and later filled out an injury report.

The next day I used this in two lessons.  As I reviewed the gardening safety rules, I came upon the one about how awareness leads to less injuries.  And with much joy and volunteers playing the part of the student with cart, I told the story.

Earlier in the day I used it to teach Newton's Laws.

A human in motion will remain in motion unless an outside garden cart (force) is applied to it. 

Wrist bones in motion will want to keep moving even after one's hand hits the pavement.

A wallet inside one's pant's front pockets will accelerate when a forced is applied, even for the very short distance between wallet and thigh.  It will hit that thigh with a force dependent upon its mass and its acceleration.

That when the cart hit me, I also hit the cart.  This clearly showed the cart was well made since it remained standing and showed no signs of bruising the next day.  Maybe I was not accelerating fast enough and though this is an interesting hypothesis... it will not be tested.

that evening I chatted with the parents of the young man who took out this unaware dude and we joked about them returning home with stories of how I had a cast on my wrist and an IV in my arm as I stumbled about on crutches.  No cast, IV, or crutches were needed, but I did apply some ice to where one nasty bruise formed on my thigh.  And it hurts bad if I am foolish enough to put my wallet in that pocket.  But I am aware of the pain and move it to another pocket.


  1. You are in better shape than me, my friend. I wish that I had a cart story!

  2. Robin--- I drew you a card and one day it will make it into an envelope. I do believe I was meant to be a story teller... and a jazz lover, and a doodler and a .........

  3. I'm fairly sure Newton came up with his laws after collisions with more painful objects than an apple.

  4. Glad you survived your run-in with the garden cart. Amazing how things like that help to teach all kinds of lessons.

  5. Robin-- and don't forget goof-ass

    Ken--- I will share this theory with my students

    Barbara--- it would be a fine reminder to keep one's eyes on the road when driving. things can happen way fast.

  6. YIKES! Hope you're feeling better... and glad that you got a lesson out of the experience, so to speak. ;)

  7. Blackswamp Gal--- bruise is way faded and I can place wallet back into that pocket with no pain.


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