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NEOCEx Lesson Plan
Course: College Physics Students: Non-majors, college Subject Area: Mechanics Prepared by: C. Milcetich, K. Owens and R. Ramsier Last modified by Mike Lee, June 8, 2006
A. Big Idea/Concepts 1. Primary concepts are understanding elasticity and elastic potential energy, especially Hooke’s Law. 2. Supporting concepts include energy lose due to friction and the effects on projectile motion. Also important is observing deviations from ideal Hooke’s law behavior. B. Learning Objectives Students will discover the basic properties of elasticity (Hook’s Law) and relate identify the relationships involving elasticity and potential energy. 1. Hook’s Law a. Investigate the elastic properties of bungee cords. b. Discover the relationship between the stretch of a cord and the applied force. c. Investigate the effective spring constant of cords connected in series and parallel. 2. Potential Energy a. Measure and calibrate the energy storage ability of a bow. b. Understand the relationship between how far they stretch the bow and how far it will shoot an arrow, and make predictions. c. Test their predictions in real life. Required Prior Knowledge: • • • Graphical Analysis Projectile Motion Potential to Kinetic Energy Conversion
C. Anticipated Prior Misconceptions There is always confusion between force and energy in nontechnical discussions in daily life and those persists here. It is common that some students think that the spring constant does not depend on the length of the elastic material (bungee cord), only what it is made of and its diameter. 1
Predict the force you have to apply for the same displacement. depending on size of your cords). increasing the displacement by 2 cm at a time. Measure the force you have to apply to stretch one of the bungee cords incrementally (say every 2 cm up to 24 cm. which are energy dissipation devices. Figure 1. 2 . Repeat the measurement when two identical bungee cords are connected in both series and in parallel. Bungee cords and force measuring. depending on the cords you are using). Part 1. Bungee Cords. Graph force versus displacement. Divide the force by the displacement to calculate the spring constants for each case. How does the spring constant depend on the length and the cross section of the bungee cords? b. in analogy to capacitors storing electrical energy. Discussion about such concepts can be rich. With one end of a bungee cord fixed to a C-clamp on the table (see Figure 1). Methods The general approach is activity and inquiry questioning with a lab journal. c. This is in sharp contrast to resistors in circuits. Note: Elastic systems store mechanical energy. Thus cords in series “add” inversely. Test your prediction and discuss. For each different bungee cord. Measure the force needed for a fixed displacement using one bungee cord. measure the force needed for a fixed-displacement (maybe 10 or 20 cm. hold the other end with a spring scale. Note: Measure the data points in random order to avoid any systematic error.D. and those in parallel add linearly. a. Fold the cord in half.
Measure the force vs. Using a C-clamp to hold the handle of the bow to a table (see Figure 2). This is so no one has to measure the actual displacement of the bow each time with a meter stick. such as a piece of string or a ribbon works fine. and use these to 3 . Make a calibration curve from these data. You will be given a distance to aim for (a target distance). stretch it with the spring scale. Multiple trials with each person getting to shoot will be performed. which represents the maximum amount of potential energy stored in the bow. Measurement of Force for a Bow. All launching will be done horizontally. Record the distances of each shot using a long tape measure. From class discussion.What does the slope of the graph represent physically. to avoid complicated equations involving angles. Bows and Arrows Figure 2. you will know how to calculate the maximum distance that an arrow will fly vs. Trial and error is not acceptable. Take a one-meter and a two-meter stick with you to the field. Note: The arrows can be marked with a pen or piece of tape by each group based on their prediction of how far it needs to be pulled back to reach the target. and determine the average distance and uncertainty for each group. a. you need to determine how far to pull back the bow before you try it. not how well the students aim leftto-right. and will have to determine how far to pull back the bow to reach the target location. and what are the units? What does the area under the graph of force versus displacement mean. how far you stretch the bow. A target line lying horizontally on the ground. b. displacement with a lot of data. It is the horizontal distance that the arrow goes that is important. Calculate the area under the total curve. and what are the units? Part 2.
and twometer sticks. Part 2. C-clamp. Students are expected to make journal entries including the data and graphs of the actual experimental trials done as well as predictions or answers and discussion about the questions posed in the methods section. Eye protection is advised. Assessment Assessment can be based largely on student journals.measure off the distance to the target line. After the horizontal shooting is over. Meter stick. Bow and arrow. In addition. G. F. Spring scale. About six bungee cords and the bow and arrow are also requires as well as a table with clamps. Equity 4 . it is possible to then let the students predict how far the arrow will go if shot at a 30 degree angle at the same draw of the bow. Then lay these aside. Mass balance to weigh the arrow. Springs on automatic garage doors are another example. Bungee cords. Management and Safety Issues There is a significant safety issue related to shooting arrows and this should only be performed under the supervision of appropriate archery instructors and in the corresponding location of an archery range. In this lesson students also saw some of the physics of projectiles. as the sine of 30 degrees is ½). Spring scale. Part 1. E. Meter sticks. the energy storage and conversion that occurs is directly related to this lesson. Materials and Technology A collections of weights and pulleys is necessary for measuring force. lead them to using the one. bungee cords can hold a great deal of energy and the accidental release of one can exert damaging force. In these cases. This included springs in automobiles as a daily example. Having them figure out how to measure a 30 degree angle leads to rich investigation (eventually. whether thrown objects or missiles. Applications Elastic energy is associated with the action of all springs. including air resistance. This can be generalized to all projectiles. H.
2: Nature of scientific evidence and the use of models for explanation Ohio Academic Content Standard . Standards NSTA Standards B. There are no equity issues expected. J. I. is a more linear Hook’s law instrument. San Francisco. 9th ed. record keeping.No previous experience with archery is expected and no particular related skills.. and during energy transformations the total amount of energy remains constant. 2002). hypothesis. safety considerations and appropriate tools.12.Grades 6-8 Benchmark A Use skills of scientific inquiry processes (e. The classical native American bow is very nonlinear whereas the recurve bow. though oddly shaped. some forms represent kinetic energy and some forms represent potential energy.g. description and explanation). It is illuminating to investigate different designs of the bow. Hewitt (Addison Wesley. There is a handedness bias unless bows are purchased for both rightand left-handed students.4. Scientific Inquiry .11: Potential and kinetic energies and concepts of work B. Benchmark B Explain the importance of reproducibility and reduction of bias in scientific methods.1. P. pages 61-63.Grades 6-8 Benchmark A Explain that there are differing sets of procedures for guiding scientific investigations and procedures are determined by the nature of the investigation. Additional Resources Adapted from “Wrap Your Energy in a Bow” in Conceptual Physics Laboratory Manual.29: Interrelationships of pure and applied sciences..G. Benchmark B Analyze and interpret data from scientific investigations using appropriate mathematical skills in order to draw valid conclusions.SCIENCE Physical Sciences – Grades 6-8 Benchmark D: Describe that energy takes many forms. Praxis II Demonstrate understanding of the conversation of mass/energy Demonstrate understanding of energy transformations Comments 5 . Robinson and P. and technology C. Scientific Ways of Knowing .
Don’t let them overstretch any of the cords or bows. displacement curves.e. 6 . Make sure that they recognize the physical meaning of the slope and the area.Many bungee cords and bows are linearly elastic – obeying Hooke’s Law – over a wide range of displacement (stretching). The area of the resulting triangle can then easily be calculated. Thus the students will get a fairly good straight line on the force vs. Make sure the spring scales are calibrated. and that students realize that for very small displacements (i. before the bungee cords are taut) the measurements are not very useful.
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