Day 94: Intro to Energy & Motion Graphs

AP Physics: Intro to Energy

Students picked a height to raise their cart above the table, then made a rough force vs. displacement graph and repeated for additional angles. We compared the areas of the graphs, then defined that area as the change in gravitational potential energy. The biggest hangup is that students are so used to graphing their data that I have trouble getting across that I want a description of an individual run, instead. I might try some additional discussion prior to the lab next time.

As a side note, it was interesting to watch what looked like some gender dynamics in one of my classes. All but one of my all-male groups picked a fairly high point to raise their carts to, then used very steep angles, getting their tracks nearly vertical. The one all-female group in the class picked the lowest point they could, then did very shallow angles. I also had one mixed-gender group, and they picked both a height and angles right in the middle.

 

Physical Science: Motion Graphs

We finished whiteboarding results from the video analysis, following each up with a similar case on the motion detector. I should have broken up the discussion a bit more, which reinforces what I was already thinking about with going low-tech for constant velocity, then introducing video for constant acceleration. I also had students move away from their lab tables for the group discussion, and talked a bit about why I was doing it, and students were much more focused on the whole-class discussion this time.

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