Day 41: Motors & Forces Practical

Physical Science: Motors

Students built very simple electric motors, then did some playing around with them to start figuring out some of the underlying principles. This will set up some discussion for Monday on how most electricity is generated.

Physics: Forces Practical

Each lab group got a cart mass and a hanging mass, then had to figure out what angle they should set their ramp to in order to balance the forces. I wasn’t sure how into it students would get since the goal was, pretty literally, to make nothing happen, but there were still cheers when they let go and everything stayed put. My students are now convinced they can do these problems in a way that just getting the right answer doesn’t accomplish. In one period, several groups finished quickly, so I had those groups keep the same angle and cart mass, but add to their hanging mass and calculate how much time it should take for the cart to make it up the ramp. I didn’t set up the photogates, since I wasn’t sure how many groups would get through this part, but students were able to get within 0.2 seconds of their prediction using a stopwatch.

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Day 40: Electromagnets & Mistakes Game

Physical Science: Electromagnets

Students built electromagnets and designed experiments to test the effect changing the number of coils has on the strength of the magnet. I also pulled out my homemade speaker for students to try out.

Physics: Mistakes Game

Students played the mistakes game with the diagrams for solving force problems. Once my students have their diagrams, they can get through the problems pretty easily, so I wanted them to focus on drawing and interpreting those diagrams.