Day 66 – Fnet Direct Measurement Video

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Physics 11 – Students analyzed a video which shows a fan cart accelerating on a low friction track. Through some data recording and calculations students were able to find the force of the fan and the acceleration of the cart.
I’m very unsure of the usefulness of this lab activity. The real goal of seeing and thinking about force and acceleration is likely being lost in calculations and figuring out what is going on with the video.  Stay tuned for next class…

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Pseudo Day 115 – Force vs Mass

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Science 8 – May 1

The students examined the difference between mass and force by hanging masses from Newton spring scales.  Unfortunately the grade 8’s have not had much exposure to relationships yet, so they’re not ready for examining the slope of a line on a Force vs mass graph.  However, they were able to use their graphs to predict the mass of other objects.  The fact that g = 9.8 m/s^2 actually simplifies this experiment a bit too much.  The students quickly realize that the mass x 10 equals the force.  I wonder if it would be better to use a scale which measures force in pounds?  I think this would cause the students to put a bit more thought into what a relationship is, and why a graph would be useful.