Most of us know from experience that the force of friction caused by air resistance increases as the relative speeds increases. The purpose of this activity is to develop a proportionality statement, and then an equation, that describes the relationship between air resistance and the speed of an object.
Assign this activity to a group of three or four students as an example of how physicists determine relationships. Other groups would be exploring other relationships.
This is an effective introduction to the course that can be completed during the first week of class. Students can present their results to the class electronically.