May 13, 2015

Force and Motion Inquiry

So here's the deal - We're moving. We're moving 4 hours away to new homes and new jobs. And, what do you know, finding jobs and selling a house take a lot of time and energy. But as of today - the house is under contract and we both have jobs. Hooray!

Now I just have to keep my head in the game for the last 5 weeks of school. Oh... and find a house to buy... no pressure.

Yesterday my students did an experiment to test this question:
How does the mass of an object relate to the mass needed to move that object a certain distance?

They did a great job implementing the experiment, recognizing that an increase in mass requires you to increase the force, and coming up with great applications of this concept. However, since I asked the question and designed the task, it wasn't really true inquiry.

Enter today's work...

TODAY I challenged them to design their own experiment that answers a question about force. There were a few rules, though:
* The experiment must answer a question about force
* The experiment must be completed in one session
* You may only use materials that are readily available
* You must have some data, and you will create a table for keeping your data
* You will present your findings to the class

For additional guidance I said,
"Think about force, mass, speed, distance, direction, inclines, surfaces, and anything else that might affect motion."

I was really pleased with the questions that the students came up with:

1. How do different inclines relate to the distance an object travels?
2. How do different inclines relate to the amount of force needed to move an object up a ramp?
3. Will an object move faster forward or backward? What if it is carrying different types of loads?
4. How does the amount of force used relate to the distance an object travels?
5. How does the amount of force used relate to the speed of an object?

Tomorrow each group will perform their experiment and present their findings. I can't wait!

**Note: Planning a follow-up post with pics, etc of their work**

~ Amanda

No comments:

Post a Comment