Physics 11 – Today the students wrote up their results from their lab for Newton’s 2nd Law. Many groups were getting close to developing a model for Newton’s 2nd Law: Fnet = ma. Since the input for the lab was a force though, the students graphed a = Fnet/m
Once the slope was written as a fraction, the students were able to recognize that it was the inverse of the mass.
I have two classes of physics 11. During the first class, I walked along a lot and spoke with students as they worked. As a result, by the time we got to share the whiteboards, almost everyone had the same board. For example, I challenged groups to find better symbols to use, rather than x and y. The second class I helped a lot less and the following discussion was better.
After our discussion, the students applied their new model to the situation of someone standing on a scale inside an elevator. This allowed for some thoughtful thinking on adding forces together from well drawn force diagrams.