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Ji Soo Han

Science Period: 3
Physical Science Year-End Performance Task
All things in life have a reason or a theory and physical science is like the dictionary for
those theories. "Physical science is the study of what things are made of-matter-and how things
change-energy." (National Geographic, Focus on Physical Science) "Any of the natural sciences
dealing with inanimate matter or with energy, as physics, chemistry, and astronomy."
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/physical+science) Physical science is the section of
science that oversees abiotic substances within our universe. It is one of the many components of
science that covers the topics: velocity (speed, distance, displacement), the table of elements and
matter, atoms and molecules, chemical reactions, acids and bases, density and buoyancy, and
forces. In the unit, structure of atoms, physical science states that atoms are the smallest building
blocks for all things. It also states that the table of elements was a list of all the elements put into
categories by traits. Most of them, combined through a chemical reaction, would create a new
substance. These are compounds that keep me alive. Small things such as atoms and elements are
a big portion of what makes up my body. Because physical science has so much to do with the
creations and explanations for even the basic things in life, it is so important that I am aware and
educated of how and of why events happen when they do. Physical science touches the basics on
so many different topics but they can be combined and applied into my everyday life. It is
important in my life because everything I am made up of and everything I do can be explained
by the concepts of physical science. Physical science is so important and well rounded that even
when you're doing daily tasks such as traveling from one place to another, swimming, playing
bowling, and etc. I am applying the knowledge of physical science.
Have you ever taken a trip? Every time you move, your position and distance change.
Depending on where your reference point, your distance and displacement is determined. A
reference point is the starting point in which you use to describe both your position and distance.
You also use your reference point to describe the set of directions in order to get from your
reference point to your ending point. Distance is the total length you traveled from your
reference point to your ending point including all your turns and curves. Displacement is the
shortest distance between your reference point and your ending point. This means that you can
have a very long distance but have a negative displacement. For example, when you are running
on a track field, you could have run for 2 miles meaning your distance is 2 miles but your
displacement would still be zero. Without a reference point you would not be able to determine
your speed or velocity. Speed is the total distance you traveled divided by the total amount of
time. Speed is the rate at which you traveled from your reference point to your end point.
Velocity is the rate at which you are traveling plus the direction you are moving in. Acceleration
is the rate of change of increase in velocity. Acceleration is found by subtracting the final speed
by the initial speed and then dividing it by the time. Deceleration is the rate of change of

decrease in velocity. Both acceleration and deceleration are a part of reference points because
they show you the rate of change between your reference point and your ending point. We can
use reference points in our everyday life. One example of the use of reference points is when I
leave my house, go to school, and return back home. My reference point would be my house
because it is where I start and I come back to end my day. I could calculate my distance and
displacement using my reference point. Another example of when I used a reference point in my
life is when I visited Korea. I started off in Los Angeles, went to Korea, and came back to Los
Angeles. The total length of going to Korea and coming back is my total distance. Despite all
the miles I traveled, my displacement is zero because my reference point was Los Angeles and
my ending point was also Los Angeles. A different example is when my mom is driving and she
uses a GPS. The GPS uses our reference point to show us a set of directions. The GPS navigates
our velocity and predicts the amount of time it will take for us to reach an ending point and
return back to our reference point.
Have you ever felt like carrying shopping bags was once the hardest thing to do in your
life but now, it's part of your life? The reason why it is no longer hard for you to lift the shopping
bag is because you can now apply more force to lift it. Physical science proves that the greater
the mass of an object, the more force is needed to achieve the same rate of change in motion. Just
like it takes less effort to move a pencil than a sofa, the more matter and mass the object has, the
more force you will need to apply to get it in motion. Force can be applied in direction and
magnitude. When two forces are applied in the same direction, the sum of the forces will be the
total effect. When two opposite forces are pushing an object at different rates, the object will
move in the way of the force that is pushing at a larger rate. Newton's law of motion states that
when two objects are pushing in opposite directions at the same force, the object will remain at
rest. It also states that in order for an object at rest to move, an unbalanced force must be applied.
When the unbalanced force is applied, the object will change its velocity. For instance, when I
went to play bowling, the pins were still but as the bowling ball approached them and made
contact with them, they toppled over, flying into different directions at different speeds. The
bowling ball was the unbalanced force that acted upon the still pins and applied force for them to
move. There are also forces in life that are natural such as gravity, elastic forces and friction.
Because forces range from such a variety of things, there are so many ways to relate forces into
my life without even knowing it. The mass of a pencil and the mass of a couch are very different.
For example, the mass of a pencil is so small, I only need a small amount of force to lift it and
move it in the direction I want it to move in. On the other hand, the couch has more mass and
takes more force to get it to move in the direction of my choice. During last year's field day, we
played tug of war. The team with a larger number of older students won more often because they
were able to apply more force and easily pull the team with less amounts of mass. When I was
younger, I would struggle to help my mom carry the plates onto the dinner table. Now that I am
older, I can easily move, not only the plates, but I can carry all sorts of things such as blankets
when it is laundry day. I am able to help my mom carry baskets of clothes up and down five
flights of stairs with ease. Even now, it is much easier for me to carry a small puppy in

comparison to my 100 pound cousin. My cousin is much larger and weighs more than the small
puppy thus requires more force to get her to move. I can't get a large car to move by applying
only my force to it but I can get an object with less mass such as a toy car to move with even a
small tap of force. There are different types of forces that are formed because of the Earth's
gravitational pull as well.
Wasnt there a time when you played with the cereal floating in your milk? The reason
your cereal floats in your milk is because of both buoyancy and density. Buoyancy is the upward
force that acts against gravity. Buoyancy, density, and displacement are properties of matter. The
buoyant force of a solution is equal to the weight of the displaced water. When you sit in a tub of
water, the weight of the water that was displaced is equal to the buoyant force. An object with
positive buoyancy floats in water, an object with negative buoyancy sinks in water, and an object
with neutral buoyancy neither sinks nor floats. Density is how closely packed the atoms and
molecules of an object are. You can determine the density of an object by dividing the mass of
the object by its volume. The density of an object is defined by weight per volume. With the
formula DMV, you can also find the mass and the volume of the object. If the object placed into
the substance is less dense than the liquid it is put into, it will float. If the object is more dense
than the liquid, the object will sink. When I was younger, I used to take baths. As I took baths, I
took toys with me as well. Even before I knew how to determine whether an object will sink or
float, I was able to choose the objects that I knew would float in water. Now that I learned that
buoyancy and density are determining factor to whether and object will sink or float, I now know
that all the objects I chose had a positive buoyancy and was less dense than the water I put it in.
Archimedes was an ancient Greek scientist that discovered the principals of buoyancy and
density. Archimedes' principle says that any object that is partially or completely submerged
underwater is buoyed up by a force that is equal to the weight of the fluid. The weight of the
object acts downward and the buoyant forces pushes it up. Another example is when I put the
dishes into the sink. I know the plates will sink meaning that they are more dense than the water
and that the plates have a negative buoyancy. When I go to the swimming pool for a swim, I
know that I will float. The reason for this is because the air inside of me is less dense than the
water and there is a buoyant force that is pushing against my weight and gravity.
In conclusion, physical science can be applied to many parts of our lives. Topics of
physical science such as velocity (speed, distance, displacement), the table of elements and
matter, atoms and molecules, chemical reactions, acids and bases, density and buoyancy, and
forces are all sections of science that I can easily relate to my life. I can apply the topics stated
above into my life by doing simple things like traveling, swimming, bowling, and even helping
carry the grocery bags. I can apply forces by lifting the grocery bags and going against the force
of weight and gravity. By knowing about the forces of gravity, you can determine that there is a
buoyant force pushing you upward as you swim and drop objects into liquids. When bowling,
you can use your prior knowledge of forces and can determine that the force of the moving
bowling ball is unbalanced to the still forces of the bowling pins and that is what causes it to

move. When traveling to a different country or even a simple change in position, you are
changing your reference point and velocity. With all the different ways you can apply physical
science into your life, it is important to learn the various topics. The effects of physical science
that are in your life are essential to your life. Take a moment to think about the different events
that happen throughout your daily life. Then imagine how you would feel if you if you didnt
know why things happened when they did. The reason for you knowing why things occur are all
because we are taught through physical science the explanations behind Earth's mysteries.