Motion, Force, and Models
Investigation Part 2: Transfer Energy
By: Hilary, Trenton, Alex, and Paige
Main focus question: What happens when objects collide?
Stationary: an object that is not moving
Work: action of moving a mass
Friction: The resistance one object or surface encounters when moving over another
Energy: is transferred when work is done
Transfer of energy: when a moving object (ball) collides with a stationary object ( cork) energy transfers from the rolling balls to the cork
Explanation of experiment
Independent variable: Size of the ball, Starting position of the ball
Dependent Variable: The distance of the cork
Constant: Cork9 trails
6 different levels
Pictures of the experiment
Picture #2: Shows us testing the large ball at level 4.
Picture #3: Shows the ball and the cork colliding and you can see the transfer of energy happening.
In the picture below you can see that students are using 3 different ball sizes and 3 different starting positions.
They start with one ball size then experiment with the different starting positions. Then move onto the next ball size and experiment with those starting positions and repeat this process one more time so they have experimented with 3 different ball sizes (large, medium and small) and experimented at 3 different starting positions ( 2, 4, and 6)
Overview of Content: How fast do balls travel?
Within this worksheet we will be looking at different sized balls starting at the same starting positions and calculate what we found.
We will also be looking at the different starting positions for the same ball size and calculate those findings.
Results: Graph from our Energy Transfer worksheet
The blue line represents the large ball.
The green line represents the medium ball.
The yellow line represents the small ball.
Analysis of Data
This investigation provides experiences with the crosscutting concepts of:
- Energy and Matter: Energy transfers as balls move and collide with other objects.
- Students can observe the transfer of energy from the steel ball to the cork as the cork moves down the foam ramp.
- Cause and Effect: The mass and speed of a rolling ball affect the amount of work it can do.
- Students will record their data on a chart which can then be analyzed in order to draw conclusions about how the mass of the ball affects its speed. Patterns can be seen by comparing how far the cork was moved by balls of different weights.
- Visual aids such as a graph or chart (pictured above) are useful when identifying patterns. The data recorded onto the chart clearly indicates that in all three weights of the steel balls, the cork is pushed further as they are dropped from higher heights, giving each line an upward pattern. Furthermore, the greater the mass of the steel ball, the further the cork is pushed at each height.
Comparison to scientific theories, models, or laws.
Teacher notes: What parts of this experiment we think may be challenging for students
Teacher notes: What we should do as teachers to scaffold those parts
For students who need scaffolding, provide sentences frames such as,
"When objects collide, . For example, we found out that ."
Doing a demonstration of setup and procedure would be useful to ensure all students are on the same track
Moving the experiment to the floor gives students more space to accommodate their investigations.