The Turd the Target Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks makes it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive is intended for use near the middle to later stages of a learning cycle on projectile motion. The activity uses a game-like environment to provide students with practice solving horizontally-laumched projectile problems. Three sets of two problems are preseted to students with each set differing in terms of the unknown quantity that must be solved for. The unknowns are the initial launch speed of the projectile, the height of the projectile, and the horizontal displacement of the projectile. Once the learner solves for the unknown quantitiy, the target is moved into position and Birdman flies by and drops a turd. The trajectory is shown and the success of the problem is evaluated. Buckets fill with brown liquid (use your imagination) with each success. Failure results in a temporary leakage of brown liquid. It's definitely a dirty job.

The Physics Classroom has not prepared any classroom activity for this Interactive. When used in a classroom, teachers can simply ask that students show the teacher their screen once the six problems have been successfully solved or when the activity is over. Additionally, there is a timer that times the student as he/she works through the problems. Completion of the game leads to a scoreboard that displays the cumulative time and presents the student with a couple of badges to indicate their progress and their speediness.

Now available with Task Tracker compatibility. Learn more.


Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Turd the Target Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments VP7, VP8, VP9, and VP10 of the Vectors and Projectiles module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

  • Curriculum/Practice: There is a single Concept Development think-sheet at the Curriculum Corner that would be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding. It is named

    Projectile Motion

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never supplant) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. Six notable lab ideas include ...

    Basketball Analysis
    Launcher Speed
    Projectile Problem-Solving I
    Projectile Problem-Solving II
    Maximum Range
    Hit the Target

    Visit The Laboratory.
  • Science Reasoning Activities:
    Science classrooms should be filled with reasoning activities. There are three related activities in the Projectiles section of the Science Reasoning Center that will challenge students to employ close reading, data analysis, and logical reasoning. The activities are named ...

    Up and Down
    Maximum Range of a Projectile

    Visit the Science Reasoning Center.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Turd the Target into an instructional unit on projectile motion can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive. Visit their website ( to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios. And for more great science simulations, visit their companion site called SimBucket.

Visit: Interactive