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Assignment One

Questions and
Questions should be
testable in some
ONE question per




Description of the
experiment that will
allow students to test
the question. They
should be able to
while doing the

A pattern in the
observations/data from
which the claim is
generated. You can
discuss theoretical
evidence here (i.e. the
type of evidence you
expect your students to

A statement that
answers the
question. It is
made at the END
of the experiment.

Description of
The materials the
students will use for
this experiment are a
toy car, a ruler and a
measuring tape.

The higher the incline

the farther the car

Yes slope will

affect the distance
an object travels
because the car
travelled the
farthest when
pushed down the
inclined plane that
was 10cm high.

List the curriculum

expectation(s) met.

Question #1:
Will slope affect the
distance an object
(Grade 2:
Structures and
Mechanisms Movement)
#2 - Investigate
mechanisms that
include simple
machines and
enable movement
2.2 - Investigate and
describe different
kinds of movement
2.3 - Investigate the
structure and
function of simple

First students will

place the toy car at the
top of the inclined
plane that is 5 cm high
and let go of the car so
that it travels down the
slope. The students
will then
measure/record the
distance the car
travelled. Next the
students will use the
ruler to create an
inclined plane that is
10 cm high. They will
then place the car at
the top of the inclined
plane and let it go,
followed by
the distance it travels.
The students will now
use the ruler to make
the inclined plane 15

The basic principle
covered in the
experiment. It is
the answer to the
question Why did
we find this?.
This section is
meant to be for
preparation and
may be beyond
the grade. Be sure
to embed
The higher the
slope of the
inclined plane, the
farther the car will
travel because of
the force of
gravity on the toy
car (PNC).
As the slope of
the inclined plane
increases so does
the amount/force
of gravity on the
car. Gravity's pull
on the car causes
making the car go
faster and further
(Marked by
A change in the
slope causes a
change in the
amount of gravity
pulling on the car
and therefore
causes a change in
acceleration which
results in the
distance and speed

cm high and repeat

process of placing the
car at the top of the
inclined plane and
watching how the car
travels from the top.
They will then
measure, record, and
compare the results for
all three trials.

the object travels.

Controlled Variable:
Toy car
Changed Variable:
The slope of the ramp
Measured Variable:
Distance the car travels
Question #2:
What types of soil
absorb water the
(Grade 3:
Earth and Space
Systems - Soils in
the Environment)
#2 - Investigate the
composition and
characteristics of
different soils
2.2 - Investigate the
components of soil
2.3 - Use scientific
tion skills and
knowledge and
skills from previous
investigations, to
determine which
types of soil will
sustain life.

Description of
The materials the
students will be given
to complete this
experiment are the
following: cup sand,
cup clay, cup
loam, cup silt, four
coffee filters, four
funnels, four
transparent plastic
cups, and 2 cups of
water ( cup of water
for each soil).
Students will place
one funnel within each
of the transparent
plastic cups. Then,
they will place one
coffee filter in each of
the four funnels.
Students will then
place one type of soil
in each of the four
coffee filters.
Students will pour
cup of water into the
coffee filter filled with
one of the soil types
and see what happens

Clay allowed the least

amount of water to
pass through however
it did not absorb any
The sand allowed a
little to pass through
but did absorb some
The Silt allowed more
water than the sand to
pass through and it
also absorbed some
Finally the Loam
allowed only a little
water to pass through
and absorbed most of
the water.

Loam absorbed
the most amount
of water.

Clay, sand, and

silt are inorganic
materials which do
not hold water
very well or
usefully when it
comes to
providing nutrients
to plants. Sand is
made up of
particles that you
can see and allows
water to pass
through it very
quickly. Silt and
clay particles are
very tiny but, clay
particles fit
together so closely
that it is difficult
for water to flow
through. Even
when water does
penetrate clay the
particles hold the
water molecules to
tightly so that
plants cannot
access the
nutrients the water
could provide
(Utah State
Loam is a mix

to the water - is it
absorbed by the soil?
does the water pass
through the soil into
the plastic cups?

of inorganic
material with
humus (organic
humus and other
organic material
absorbs large
amounts of water,
similar to a
sponge. Loam also
has pores between
the soil particles
that trap water
resulting in a
greater amount of
absorption (Utah
State University).

Controlled Variable:
Amount of Water
being poured into the
Changed Variable:
Type of soil

Question #3:
What types of fruits
and vegetables
produce electricity?
(Grade 6:
Matter and Energy Electricity and
Electrical Devices)
#2 - Investigate the
characteristics of
static and current
electricity, and
construct simple
2.4 - Design, build,
and test a device
that produces
2.5 - Use
skills to design,
build, and test a
device that
transforms electrical
energy into another
form of energy in
order to perform a

Measured Variable:
Amount of water
passing through the
Description of
Students will
receive the mechanics
to power a clock, an
apple, a tomato and a
potato. Students will
experiment to
determine which fruit
or vegetable will turn
the clock on when they
hook it up to the cords.
Controlled Variable:
Changed Variable:
The type of
vegetable/fruit tested
Measured Variable:
Whether or not the
clock is turned on

The apple did not turn

on the clock.
The tomato did not
turn on the clock.
When we plugged in
the potato it turned the
clock on.

The potato
produced enough
electricity to turn
on a clock.

The potato is
considered an
cell. This cell turns
chemical energy
into electrical
energy. In the
potato there is a
transfer of
electrons. The
potato produces
electricity but
keeps ions
separate from each
other which cause
a current that
powers the clock
The potato
clock works as a
salt bridge
between the metals
which allows the
electrons to pass
freely. This causes
the clock to turn
Potatoes can do
this because they
are rich with
electrolytes. Other
fruits rich in
electrolytes are
capable of this as
well (Nguyen,

As a group, answer the following questions based on the experiment that you tried:
1. Which experiment did you try?
We completed experiment Number One where we investigated Grade Two Movement.
Our question we chose to investigate was, will slope affect the distance an object travels? Below
are a few images demonstrating our interpretation of the experiment.

2. What worked or did not work when you did this experiment?
In the experiment description we had originally planned on the students pushing the car
down the inclined planes but as we were doing the experiment we realized that students should
not push the cars down but rather place the car on top of the inclined plane and simply let go of
it. We came to this conclusion because it was impossible for us to measure the amount of force
being applied to the car when we pushed it down the inclined plane and if the car was not pushed
with the same amount of force on each of the different inclined planes the results would not be

accurate. Once this issue was resolved the experiment seemed to go very smoothly and
excellently showed that a large slope or higher inclined plane would result in the car travelling a
further distance.
3. Does this experiment lend itself to constructivist learning? If not, how could you
change it to make it more constructivist? (Refer to readings on constructivism posted on
All three of our proposed experiments lend themselves to constructivist learning as they
all require students to construct their knowledge through meaningful learning strategies and
personal experience (Cakir). Each of the experiments poses a question that requires students to
make sense of their natural environment through direct experimentation and research, leading
them to a final conclusion (Duit). Our experiment that investigated how well various types of
soil absorb water allowed students to collaborate and learn through direct experimentation. To
further incorporate constructivist learning, students could apply their knowledge of various soils
and how they absorb water to everyday situations such as planting a garden. Posing questions
such as, Which soils would be more beneficial when planting flowers? would allow students to
demonstrate their understanding of the experiment and extend their thinking to everyday
situations. Similarly, our experiment that explored whether an inclined slope would make a toy
car travel farther incorporates constructivist learning because the experiment allow students
collaborate and learn through a hands-on experiment. Students can then use the information they
acquired after completing the experiment to make inferences about real life, such as how this
may affect a bike traveling down a hill or ramp. Our last experiment really pulls on
constructivist learning because after completing the experiment with their peers, students must
build upon their previous knowledge to understand why the potato was able to turn on the clock.
With this experiment students would also be able to relate the potato turning on the clock the
idea that food provides humans and animals with the energy needed to function.

Cakir, M. (2008). Constructivist Approaches to Learning in Science and Their Implications for
Science Pedagogy: A Literature Review. International Journal of Environmental & Science
Technology, 3(4), 194-199. Retrieved September 28, 2015 from
Duit, R. (1996). The Constructivist View in Science Education - What It Has to Offer and What
Should Not be Expected From It. Investigacoes em Ensino de Ciencias, 1(1), 40-44.
Retrieved September 28, 2015 from
Helmenstine A.(n.d) Potato Clock - Make a Potato Battery to Power an LED Clock. About
Education. Retrieved September 28, 2015 from
Marked by Teachers. (n.d.) To investigate how the angle of a slope affects the acceleration of a
marble. - GCSE Science. Retrieved September 27, 2015, from
Nyguyen, T. (2013). A Potato Battery Can Light Up a Room For Over a Month. Smithsonian.
Retrieved September 28th, 2015, from
PNC. (2015). Rolling with ramps. Retrieved September 29, 2015, from
Utah State University.(n.d.). Perkin Through the Pores. Agriculture in the classroom. Retrieved
on September 29th, 2015 from