Physics: Bouncy Balls
I gave students a bouncy ball and two tasks. First, they had to come up with their own quantitative definition of efficiency, then take measurements to determine the efficiency of their bouncy ball. Most groups are finding a ratio of the rebound height to the drop height.
Second, they need to determine whether the bouncy ball looses its energy while in the air or when it collides with the table and need to support their answer with quantitative data. Since we also had a quiz today, most groups only got to the point of deciding what kinds of energy the bouncy ball should have at different points in its path and starting to consider what they could measure related to those energies.
Chemistry: Molar Mass
I’m trying to start each new concept with something concrete, so to introduce molar mass, I had students build “molecules” from bolts, nuts, and washers. They found the total mass of all the components, then compared that to the mass of the molecule.