Day 97: Energy & Free Fall

AP Physics: Energy

We had a board meeting on the two energy labs from this week. The kinetic energy groups tended to get very nice results; I had them check their model with multiple cart masses and ramp angles, and they saw the results were consistent. I had the elastic energy groups use multiple springs, but they didn’t see as clear a difference between the slopes as I would have liked. I’m wondering if the results would be less muddy if I had them plot gravitational potential energy on one axis rather than just plotting height. I shortchanged some of the pre-lab discussion, and I think that lead to students forgetting to do things like measure the cart’s starting height or measure both the starting and ending height from the same end of the cart.

Physical Science: Free Fall

I got out washers, manila folders, and a few other things and tasked students with determining what affects the time an object takes to fall. In the pre-lab discussion, a student suggested the fluid an object falls through could affect the time, so next year I might make sure I have graduated cylinders and some different liquids available. I offered to grab materials if a group wanted to try that, but I think asking me to get stuff felt like an extra hurdle.


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